Fires Burning Across Northwest Florida

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

Across the Panhandle, outside burning bans are being issued. Dry conditions in the area have caused four wildfires.

Meanwhile, what's known as Back Beach Road in Panama City, Florida has been a hot spot for the past two days.

Forestry officials are just calming the blaze that quickly got out of control.

Bay County Forest Area Supervisor Corey Wilson said, “We've had a heck of a time with wildfire suppression in our area."

All that's left is one hot spot after another.

Monday, Highway 98 West in Panama City Beach, Florida was nothing but smoke.

Lighting sparked a fire that charred 61-acres.

When fire officials thought they had it contained, it lit up again Tuesday burning an additional 10-acres

"This fire is burning in sand pine and sand pine usually doesn't burn. The flames were 50-60 feet tall," said Wilson.

The fire quickly got out of control, burning across Highway 98 into a subdivision damaging three homes.

More than 225 gallons of water from hydrants, tankers, and creeks were used to try and calm the blaze.

But, fire fighters admit they're working at a disadvantage because of dry weather conditions.

However, area fire fighters say they didn't have this problem last summer and they aren't crossing their fingers for it not to happen again.

"Anything is likely. The probability is we're going to stay with this as hard and as long as we can to keep it from breaking out," said Wilson.

In the meantime, fire fighters are doing what's called 'mop up'.

They're going 100-yards behind the fire line and putting out every hot spot they can.

Authorities also expect more fires to break out over the weekend, which will further complicate situations here.

Until further notice the Hathaway Bridge in Panama City is closed due to smoke from a wildfire behind the local CVS Pharmacy at Thomas Drive and Highway 98.

Highways 77 to 388 will serve as detours.

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