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More than 450 Wildfires Have Scorched Louisiana in Recent Weeks

More than 450 Wildfires Have Scorched Louisiana in Recent Weeks

While the media focuses on the word “unprecedented”, it turns out the area of burn is less than Louisiana’s average…and at least one of the parish fires is known to be arson-related.

As we continue to follow the news about the wildfire recovery efforts in Maui, attention is turning to more than 450 wildfires that are reportedly burning in Louisiana that have already claimed two lives.

An elderly woman was pronounced dead Sunday after a brushfire spread to a shed in St. Tammany Parish, just north of New Orleans, and earlier this month, a man died in Franklinton when his home and surrounding property caught fire.

The blazes were just two of more than 450 wildfires that have scorched thousands of acres in southwest Louisiana in recent weeks during record-breaking temperatures and severe drought conditions.

…On average, the state deals with a total of 771 wildfires each year, or about two a day, data from the department shows.

But over the past few weeks, the state has been averaging 21 wildfires each day, and a state of emergency has been declared in 17 of the state’s 64 parishes.

The media has been quick to use the word “unprecedented,” which helps promote the global-boiling-climate-crisis narrative. However, the 50,000 acres burned so far this year is less than the state average of 67,000 acres.

It is also important to note that region-specific factors contribute to the challenges of fire containment, even in a state famed for its bayous and swamps.

That fuel is the trees that were felled during the hurricanes, which struck Louisiana in 2020, as well as the detritus and the plant debris left over from the storms. The drought has dried out the vegetation and turned the brushes, grasses and small trees of southern Louisiana’s swampland into the perfect kindling.

Allison Coons, a fire behavior analyst for the National Interagency Fire Center who is at the scene, said the fire burned in a “mosaic” pattern, meaning it has left areas unburned or slightly burned within the greater affected area. That has meant that the fire continues to have fuel sources, even if it were fully contained, and that it could flare up relatively easily.

With water levels falling in the swampy area, exposing roots and other brush, embers can skulk underfoot until the right conditions allow the fire to grow again.

A little research also indicates that there have been several reports of arson over the past few weeks, including a Louisiana man who went on a “literal arson spree” in early-August:

According to WDSU, The Kenner Police Department responded to a series of alarming incidents on Wednesday morning, where four fires were deliberately set at different stores in the city. Authorities were quick to investigate the arson attacks that occurred between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. at establishments situated on Roosevelt Boulevard and Veterans Boulevard.

During the incidents, the perpetrator ignited two trash cans at the intersections of Filmore Street and Reverend Richard Wilson Boulevard, as well as Roosevelt Boulevard and Airline Highway. These brazen acts of arson created a sense of fear and unease among local residents and business owners.

Furthermore, state investigators say the fires that burned near Union Hill in Rapides Parish this week were, in fact, arson.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s (LDAF) Forestry Enforcement Division say the wildfires were intentionally set.

They’re working with Louisiana State Fire Marshal Deputies and Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office Detectives to track down the person or persons who set the fires.

As a scientist, I would really appreciate it if climate “experts” allowed fire science professionals to conclude investigations before gnashing their teeth and giving histrionic interviews.

Prayers to the good people in Louisiana impacted by the fires. I can only hope your responding officials are more effective than those in Maui.


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North Louisiana here. It’s really dry, but not appreciably more than any other year.

I have never even heard of a canopy fire here. We have little blazes that burn up the undergrowth fairly frequently. Mostly, they start right at roads due to wrecks or an ole boy draggin a chain and throwing sparks.

fishingfool55 | August 30, 2023 at 8:01 pm

South Louisiana here. Been here for 30 yrs. August was unusually hot which also means dry. Typical weather pattern is if it gets to 93-94, clouds form and then thunderstorms cool things off. The few times that temp exceed 95 is when a high pressure suppresses cloud/thunderstorm formation. Extended/multiple high pressures caused most of August to be 99/100. Lawn is very dry to the point that it could use watering. Two other times in 30 yrs that the lawn needed water was in the spring. Usually more concerned with if the ground is dry enough to be able to mow.

Pattern appears to be returning to normal with temps of 90 and 50-90% chance of rain each day for the first week of Sept.

    CommoChief in reply to fishingfool55. | August 30, 2023 at 8:43 pm

    The weather you describe also applies here in South Alabama. This year August was a little unusual but not out living memory unusual for late summer.

    The very dry conditions coupled with occasional narrow band of storm weather movement generates lighting on the periphery of the narrow track where no rain falls but lighting does can easily spark a wildfire. As can some idiot who decides to intentionally set fires.

You know 449 are arson…

If the arsonist legally changed his name to “Climate Change”, then the mainstream media’s reporting of this would be correct.

SeiteiSouther | August 31, 2023 at 2:32 pm

St. Tammany resident here. Born and raised in La. I think the closest that the heat got this bad was in the mid 90’s. It’s also one of the first times I actually had to water my tree in my front yard because the leaves were browning prematurely. My lawn also had dry spots for the first time in the 20+ years living here.