The wildfire in the Kisatchie Hills Wilderness Area on the Kisatchie Ranger District in Natchitoches Parish has been named the Backbone Fire and is approximately 40 acres in size (the solid red area on the map below). The cross-hatched area on the map has been closed. Use caution when driving along Forest Service Road 339 as there are firefighters, equipment and vehicles staging in this area. Longleaf Vista and the Caroline Dormon Trail are not part of the closure.
Photos and information from the US Forest Service
The Times asked the US Forest Service additional questions following the rain that began Thursday afternoon/night.
- The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.
- As of Friday morning, the fire is at 90% containment and has received 1.6” of rain. With the current precipitation, the fire is expected to be 100% contained later today.
- How many acres have been affected? 50 acres
- What is the estimated economic impact and cost caused by this wildfire? Because the fire was located in the Wilderness Area, there was no timber loss. However, the approximate cost to the government is about $45,000 for personnel and equipment, including a helicopter, assigned to the fire.
- How many firefighters are on site? As of Thursday, there were 15 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service firefighters assigned to the fire.
- With the wildfire almost contained and with the forecasted precipitation, the Kisatchie Ranger District expects they will be able to reopen the Kisatchie Hills Wilderness Area and the three trails located within the Wilderness (Backbone, High Ridge, and Turpentine Hill) to the public
Monday, May 3.