Firefighters continue to battle blaze in Ascension Parish
PRAIRIEVILLE, La. (WAFB) - Firefighters continue to battle a large blaze that has been burning for nearly a week in Ascension Parish.
Parish President Clint Cointment declared a state of emergency due to the fire burning along Highway 42 in Prairieville.
Every fire department in the parish responded to the scene. According to St. Amant Fire Chief James LeBlanc, crews have been working to contain the fire since 3 p.m. last Sunday.
During a live interview on 9News This Morning Monday, Sept. 18, Chief LeBlanc stated crews were working in the Galvez community in a subdivision near Bill Morgan Road.
“You’re looking at [a] 160-acre track that’s been burning for about 7 days now,” LeBlanc said.
He confirmed that Sunday was the first time the fire started impeding on homes, leading parish officials to declare a state of emergency.
Crews are expected to fight the fire throughout the day on Monday until it is under control.
“At night time it calms down [because] the winds calm down but during the day when the winds pick up this thing kicks off and causes Chief Bo James and his community a lot of problems,” LeBlanc added.
Chief Bo James is the head of the Galvez-Lake Volunteer Fire Department.
Officials are also urging residents to be mindful that a burn ban remains in place statewide.
“We were out here all day yesterday but the whole time we were here there was at least 15 or 20 fires that took place in Ascension Parish and other areas and that’s people burning,” said Chief Leblanc.
“It’s amazing to me how many people in Louisiana, how many people in Ascension Parish don’t understand that we’re under a burn ban. So along with over 100 firefighters being out here helping Bo James and the Galvez community, we’re breaking away from this fire and going fight 15, 20 other fires in the parish from people just burning trash, burning limbs in their yard,” he added.
Chief Bo James said it is difficult for crews to get their trucks, hoses, and water to the fire until a road is paved for firefighters to get close to the fire.
Ascension Parish DPW crews were also on the scene to help cut and clear paths for the fire department agencies so they could better access the fires.
Officials in Ascension Parish confirmed residents who live on Terraceside Drive and Pineside Avenue were issued a mandatory evacuation order by the fire department, and Parkside Avenue was under a voluntary evacuation.
As of 10 p.m. Sunday night, the mandatory evacuation had been lifted, and the shelters were closed.
There were fire trucks near the subdivisions in Pine Side Avenue and Terraceside Drive to protect that area from the fire spreading, fire officials said.
No injuries have been reported at this time.
Officials are asking the public to avoid the area while firefighters battle the blaze.
Click here to report a typo.
Copyright 2023 WAFB. All rights reserved.