Webster, Bienville firefighters battle wildfire Tuesday

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Minden firefighters along with firefighters from across the region battled a raging wildfire near the Webster-Bienville parish line Tuesday.

The blaze burnt more than 1,500 acres as of Tuesday night. The cause remains under investigation, but fire officials said lightning from storms Monday night could be to blame.

Bobby Conly, Bienville Parish Ward 4 & 5 Fire Protection District Chief said the fire started in Bienville Parish and moved southeast, but parts spread into Webster Parish.

The Department of Agriculture and Forestry had bulldozers cutting fire lines to help control the fire Tuesday morning; however, weather was to blame for the rapid spread.

“The forestry was here and built a line around it (fire), but about 11 this morning, the fire jumped it,” he said. “It was a wind driven fire.”

The state had an airplane flying overhead to help alert firefighters to changes in wind direction.

Flames were reportedly jumping from the tops of 50-foot tall trees and residents in Castor had ashes falling in their yards.

Conly said Bienville Parish had 4 different fires at one point.

Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Shreveport issued a fire warning for northern Bienville Parish and southern Webster Parish.

Although dozens of Bienville Parish residents had to evacuate, Webster Parish residents were not affected.

“It’s mainly a Bienville Parish fire, so far no residents in Webster Parish have been injured or evacuated,” Bobby Igo, Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office chief deputy said Tuesday evening.

Daniel Davidson mans the control post Tuesday evening coordinating where fire departments are and directing them to locations.  Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Daniel Davidson mans the control post Tuesday evening coordinating where fire departments are and directing them to locations. Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

One home and storage shed was lost in the fire along Sheppard Town road Conly said and no injures were reported.

Garrett Road resident Cynthia Morris sat with her husband Dale and dog Sassy alongside of the Road and watched the smoke billow in the distance.

Morris was one of the dozen displaced by the fire.

“It ain’t a good feeling knowing I can’t go home,” she said. “As a kid, I lost everything – twice – to a fire and know what it’s like.”

Morris said she planned on staying with her brother in Haughton Tuesday night.

The American Red Cross responded Tuesday night offering food and drinks to the firefighters and assisted displaced families.

“Red Cross volunteers have come together to support our firefighters battling these fires and to care for our neighbors affected by them,” Michelle Davison, executive director for the Red Cross in north Louisiana said.

As of Wednesday morning, officials said the fire had been contained and the evacuation order had been lifted.

Firefighters from Webster, Bienville, Bossier and Red River parishes responded to the fire.

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