BEAUREGARD PARISH, La. (WGNO) — Seventeen firefighters from St. Tammany Parish responded to the call to serve in Beauregard Parish.
Crews from Slidell, Madisonville and Mandeville worked through the night Saturday, Aug. 26, and into Sunday morning, battling flames from the Tiger Island fire.
According to Beauregard Parish Sheriff Mark Herford, 60,000 to 80,000 acres burned since the beginning, but only around 20 structures were lost.
“I’ve been on the fire department about 27 years,” Sean McCormick with the Slidell Fire Department said. “I’ve seen woods fires but nothing like this before. There are no leaves on the trees, grass is black. I mean, nothing is green around here. We still have fires burning, smoke is everywhere.”
As of Sunday night, roughly 33,000 acres were still burning, and only one evacuation was lifted for Merryville proper.
McCormick said they took three engines, one tender and two pickup trucks with them from the Northshore and the units were used quickly on the first night.
“The wind kind of changed on us, kind of caught us off guard and we had to go back to the next street over start evacuating homes, getting people out of there as fast and quickly as possible,” McCormick said.
Herford said Sunday there were more fires flaring up outside the large Tiger Island fire. According to him, that’s why it’s important to follow the burn ban.
St. Tammany and Washington Parish Fire Departments are asking for water and Gatorade donations to help them stay hydrated during busy shifts on the Northshore.
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