Fire Forces Evacuation of 600 Homes in Florida Panhandle

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Residents in 600 homes in the Florida Panhandle were evacuated as a wildfire destroyed two houses and damaged 12 others, in an area that has spent the past three years recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Michael, officials said Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of acres (hectares) of downed trees from the 2018 hurricane, along with low humidity and strong winds, have created “the perfect storm” for the hazardous fire conditions in Bay County, Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis stated this at a news conference held outside of a Panama City church.

“This is not a surprise,” DeSantis said.

Overnight, more than 200 emergency personnel and firefighters from the Florida Panhandle helped to reinforce containment lines and protect residents. According to the Florida Forest Service, 30% of the Adkins Avenue Fire, which covers 1,400 acres (567 ha), was contained as of Saturday morning.

Officials stated in a press release that the agency had deployed over a dozen tractor-plow units and multiple helicopters.


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