State officials confirmed last week that Louisiana’s Largest-ever Wildfire, which ravaged over 33,000 acres, was caused by arson, not climate change.
Louisiana suffered a record-breaking number of 441 fires between August 1 to August 24, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) reported.
The Tiger Island Fire in Louisiana was the largest in the state’s history, burning over 33,000 acres.
“This is unprecedented. We’ve never had to fight this many fires simultaneously and at this duration. We’re fighting between 25 and 30 [wildfires] today,” said Mike Strain, the commissioner for Louisiana’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
“It’s burning very intensely. It’s moving pretty fast, and you can feel the air picking up. That’s from the heat of the fire sucking air into the fire,” he added.
According to the LDAF’s Enforcement Division, State Fire Marshal deputies, and the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives, the Tiger Island Fire, Louisiana’s largest-ever wildfire, was caused by arson, not climate change.
The officials requested the public’s help in identifying the suspect:
“Investigators urge you to call law enforcement if you or anyone you know has any information regarding this fire. To report an arsonist or information regarding this fire, call the LDAF 24-hour hotline at 1-855-452-5323, the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office at 337-462-8918, or the State Fire Marshal Office at 1-844-954-1221,” according to the news release.
The Louisiana Forestry Association is offering a cash reward of up to $2,000 to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the suspect.
“The Tiger Island Fire burns east of Merryville, south of Hwy 190, and about five miles east of the Texas state line. The fire originated on August 22 in a wooded pine plantation and has consumed more than 31,000 forested acres. It threatened the town of Merryville and caused devastating damage to more than 20 homes and structures.
Multiple towns in southwestern Louisiana were placed under mandatory evacuation orders due to the fire, and state officials have implemented a burn ban to control the situation.
“Everyone should take these dangerously high temperatures seriously. The extreme heat has already caused a high number of deaths and sent even more people to the hospital. In addition, our state is experiencing very dry weather, which, coupled with the heat, has produced a number of wildfires. So far, the fires have destroyed more than 20,000 acres of land and property. That is exactly why the burn ban is in place,” said Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA).
The Tiger Island Fire started on August 22 in a wooded pine plantation, causing massive damage to over 20 homes and structures.
However, Democrat Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, claimed the fires were a result of climate change.
“Our state has never been this hot and dry, and we have never had this many fires. We need you and your neighbors to help keep our communities and first responders safe. Adhere to the statewide burn ban. Don’t burn anything,” said Edwards.
Earlier this year, “Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Climate Initiatives Task Force unanimously approved the state’s first-ever Climate Action Plan. Louisiana’s Plan contains a balanced set of recommendations to limit the severity of climate change while positioning the state to maintain its economic competitiveness in a low-carbon future.”
Last July, “Edwards urged members of Congress to plan for future consequences of climate change, lead with science, act now, and provide additional funding to states for infrastructure investments.”