Record-breaking heat and extreme drought are supercharging an “unprecedented” wildfire season in Louisiana, with the entire town of Merryville forced to evacuate ahead of the Tiger Island Fire, one of the 441 wildfires in the state this month alone. “This is unprecedented. We’ve never had to fight this many fires simultaneously and at this duration,” Mike Strain of the Louisiana Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry, told reporters. “We’re fighting between 25 and 30 (wildfires) today.”

Meanwhile in Garyville, LA, residents were forced to evacuate due to a fire at the third-largest oil refinery in the country. Marathon’s refinery, in the heart of Cancer Alley, has already burned three times so far this year, and many residents around the 2-mile evacuation zone are concerned about the chemicals they are breathing from the fire. “You look outside your house and the sky is black,” Hilary Cambre, a local resident forced to evacuate, told 4WWL. (Wildfires: AP, NBC; Refinery fire: 4WWL, AP, Louisiana Illuminator, The Advocate/, Bloomberg $, WAFB,, AP, ABC, Washington Post $, WGNO, Argus Media, CNN, WDSU, Common Dreams; Climate Signals background: Wildfires, Drought, Extreme heat and heatwaves)