Second Person Dies as Wildfires Scorch Louisiana amid Heat Wave

Louisiana wildfires

Two people have died in the wildfires ravaging Louisiana as residents and leaders are desperate for rain to help quell the blazes.

An 84-year-old woman in St. Tammany Parish was found unconscious Sunday when an official noticed a brush fire on her property, the Louisiana Illuminator reported Monday.

The victim was taken to a hospital in New Orleans, where she died. Hers was the second fatality in recent weeks attributed to the state’s wildfires.

“Although temperatures are expected to back down slightly from record levels this week, the forecast still doesn’t call for substantial rain — which first responders have said is key to reducing the wildfire threat,” the outlet said.

Video footage from the the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office shows fire glowing among a cluster of trees, and the New York Post reported there were 450 wildfires burning through the state:

In a social media post on Sunday, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) wrote, “It may still be some time before our prayers for rain are answered. But we are doing everything we can, with every resource available, to win the fight against these wildfires.”

A cold front brought some rain and thunderstorms in the south and southeast areas of Louisiana over the weekend, Fox Weather reported Tuesday, adding heavy rains hit the southern part of the state on Monday and additional showers were headed to the area via Hurricane Idalia.

In a social media post Tuesday morning, the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal gave residents details about the current burn ban:

Per the Fox report, “An Independence, Louisiana man was recently charged with violating the burn ban leading to a brush fire, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

“According to a news release, the fire started when the 41-year-old man was burning trash, and the flames spread into a neighboring pine plantation owned by a local timber company, eventually consuming more than 170 acres,” the outlet said.

NBC News reported Saturday many residents have been forced to evacuate as the fires continued:

“Nobody alive in Louisiana has ever seen these conditions. It’s never been this hot, this dry, for this long,” Edwards said at the time.

According to the Illuminator article, it was possible the woman who died on Sunday was burning a pile of debris and fell into the flames.

The outlet also said, “In Washington Parish, a 72-year-old disabled man died Aug. 17 when a nearby fire spread to his home, according to a fire marshal’s report. Investigators found evidence of several burn piles on the property, including some just feet away from the residence.”


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