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Louisiana's resources severely strained by historic rash of wildfires

“Never in the recorded history of the state have we ever seen fires of this magnitude and this scope,” said Louisiana Agriculture & Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain

BATON ROUGE, La. — From the air, state leaders are getting a view of something they call historic.

“Never in the recorded history of the state have we ever seen fires of this magnitude and this scope,” said Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain.

Strain says as of Monday there were multiple active wildfires in the state, three of them considered major. Those major fires were in St. Tammy, Rapides, and Beauregard Parishes.

“Our firefighters, many of them have been going solid now for a week,” said Strain.

Strain says the state is using tremendous amounts of resources, from manpower to fuel. To help get enough crews where they need to be the Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office is lending a hand.

“We’re turning around to other fire departments, saying ‘fire departments who want to help, what can you help with, who can you send,’” said Public Affairs Dir. Ashley Rodrigue.

That need has Louisiana relying on help from other states as well.

‘We have strike teams coming in from all over the United Sates and they’re working with us,” said Strain.

There’s also work being done to help people in places like Beauregard Parish where at one point flames threatened the town of Merryville, forcing evacuations.

“We are sending supplies and basically whatever they ask for, and we have, their way,” said John McConnell who works with the Terrebonne Churches United Food Bank in Houma.

Relief organizations like the TCU Food Bank are collecting donations to send directly to impacted areas.

“Of those the things people want from us are things we make called day bags. It’s better than MREs. One bag serves one man for one day,” said McConnell.

Strain expects those days to continue. He says dry conditions, wind, and lingering debris from recent hurricanes are fueling the fires. Even if it rains, he says it won’t be enough to ease concerns.

“We are in this for the long haul. We expect to be in full battle mode probably for at least another month,” said Strain.

That’s another month adding to an already unprecedented statewide battle.

If you’d like to donate to the Terrebonne Churches United Food Bank to help with relief efforts, you can do so by clic.king here

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