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Agencies battle two-week fire in St. Mary Parish

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Posted at 11:51 AM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 12:51:53-04

Firefighters will regroup on Monday to continue working on a bagasse pile fire in St. Mary Parish.

On Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at 2:13 pm, St. Mary Parish Fire District #11 responded to the fire on Gibby Road near Highway 182. Bagasse is the pulp that comes from sugarcane. It is burned in the fields every year and also burned in the boilers at sugar mills.

Within minutes of arrival the St. Mary Parish Sugar Coop was already on the scene, being in the lead, according to Clarence J. Clark, District 11 Fire Chief. Jeanerette Fire Department and the Department of Agriculture also assisted.

The multiple agencies spent countless man and equipment hours on extinguishing the fire, Clark stated. The past two weeks the agencies battled the fire with up to 30 mph wind gusts.

Chief Clark say more than 80,000 gallons of water have been dumped on the pile in an attempt to extinguish the fire.

As of Friday, there were a few minor spots that are still hot. St. Mary Sugar Coop operated all day with 15-20 members in an attempt to complete the process.

Clark says the agencies all agreed that due to the holes that is building internal that they will not risk any lives or major equipment on the pile.

On Monday, the agencies will regroup their operations.

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