Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) wildland firefighting crews continue to plow firelines in Caddo Parish to contain nine wildfires that began burning on Labor Day Monday.
Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain advised residents to evacuate if local authorities deem it necessary.
“These are serious fires and we are asking all resident’s in harm’s way to be prepared to evacuate immediately,” Strain said. “If a parish deputy or a local fire department official knocks on your door and advises you to evacuate, please cooperate.”
Strain and State Forester Wade Dubea are at command headquarters in Caddo Parish.
The largest fires have been identified as the Oil City Fire, Airport Fire, Texaco Road Fire and Ida Fire.
The Oil City Fire, estimated at more than 1,000 acres, is west of North Market Street and south of the upper reaches of Caddo Lake.
The Airport Fire, also estimated at more than 1,000 acres, is located in the area south of Crawford Road (Parish Road 140) near Thacker’s Airport.
The Texaco Road Fire, no acreage estimate given, is east of Oil City, while the Ida Fire is located west of Ida off La. Hwy. 168.
Firefighting efforts are hampered by exceptional drought conditions and high winds from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee moving through the area.
Strain said 16 LDAF firefighting units are actively fighting the fire and will do so through the night and until the fires are contained.
LDAF aircraft will resume reconnaissance flights Tuesday morning. Six Louisiana Air National Guard Blackhawk helicopters equipped with helibuckets will also be available.
Caddo Parish has been under a burn ban order since Aug. 24. According to the United States Drought Monitor, Caddo Parish has been in exceptional drought, the highest rating, for most of 2011.