Here’s the latest info we have on the wildfires that burned through the night in the South Walton area:
WILDFIRE UPDATE: 10 a.m., May 9
The Mussett Bayou Road fire is 80% contained and at 343 acres. The fire destroyed 34 homes and led to multiple property damages in South Walton County. Firefighters from multiple agencies remain on the scene.
WILDFIRE UPDATE: 10 a.m., May 8
— The Florida Foresty Service has just reported that the total acreage has been reduced from 575 acres to 343 acres but remains at 70% containment.
— This means that the fire has a 70% chance of staying within the established fire breaks/lines.
— SWFD crews along with all our emergency partners will maintain a presence (day and night) until this incident is mitigated.
WILDFIRE UPDATE: 14:50 p.m., May 12
The Walton County Board of County Commissioners has enacted a burn ban for all of Walton County.
- Firefighter Training
- Burn operations approved by the Florida Forest Service
- Cooking of food exclusively within a contained gas or charcoal grill
WILDFIRE UPDATE: 14:50 p.m., May 7
— Florida Foresty Service is reporting that the fire is still at 60% containment with 575 acres involved.
— A secondary damage assessment was conducted and it was confirmed that 33 homes sustained heavy fire damage.
— No injuries have been reported. SWFD crews along with our emergency partners will remain on scene until this incident is completely mitigated.
— The general public is advised to avoid the Thompson Road area and also avoid flying unmanned aerial systems (drones).
WILDFIRE UPDATE: 10 a.m., May 7
In a just-released statement, Walton County Sheriff, Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. provided the following updates:
— 33 structures have been reportedly destroyed, with several others receiving significant damage
— Reports of hotspots still burning and the public is advised to stay safe and alert
— No loss of life has been reported
— Homeowners in the affected areas are advised to report to South Walton High School, provide identification and then allow the Deputy Sheriffs to arrange for a visit to check on your property
Update on Mussett Bayou Fire in Walton County
Posted by Walton County Sheriff, Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. on Thursday, 7 May 2020
WILDFIRE UPDATE: 9:45 a.m., May 7
— Walton County Emergency Management issued an update following an outpouring of support from the community. Due to the restrictions of COVID-19, donations cannot be received at their shelter or command post. Needs assessments are still underway. In the meantime, those who have resources available can email WCEM@waltoncountyem.org with a detailed list, their names and contact information.
— Items such as gently used clothing, bottled water, nonperishable food, diapers, and toiletries can also be donated locally at Van R. Butler Elementary over the next several days.
Drop Off: Van R. Butler Elementary Drop-Off
6694 W County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Friday, May 8th from 8:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday, May 9th from 9:00am – 1:00pm
Monday, May 11th from 8:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday, May 12th from 8:00am – 5:00pm
— Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida is accepting donations of essential items at their office at 28B WaterColor Way through May 12th from 9 – 5 PM. They will also be accepting Venmo donations @BHHSBeachProperties. All donations to Van R. Butler Elementary. For more info, click here or contact them at 850-534-3006.
WILDFIRE UPDATE: 9 a.m., May 7
Update from Fire Marshal, Sammy Sanchez with WJHG-TV. Here are the high points:
— Crews are still fighting ACTIVE fires and we are assessing damage in affected areas. We understand these are your homes, but your safety is our NUMBER ONE priority. Please avoid the area, if possible.
— Highway 98 and 30A are open at this time. Thompson Road is closed between Allen Loop and Highway 98. Please use caution if you are traveling through these areas.
— DRONE FLIGHTS are PROHIBITED at this time. We have air support trying to respond and this puts a burden on our overall mission.
— NO burning, this fire is an example of the dry conditions in the area at this time.
WILDFIRE UPDATE: 6 a.m., May 7
As per the latest update from South Walton Fire District, Highway 98 and 30A are back open this morning as firefighters work to monitor the fire which is approximately 65% contained at this point.
Thompson Road, an area that sustained heavy damage, is still shut down between Allen Loop and Highway 98. Evacuees can seek shelter at South Walton High School.
WILDFIRE UPDATE: 1:50 a.m., May 7
The wildfire reached 575 acres and is 60% contained. Reports indicate several dozen homes off of Thompson Drive were involved. Please avoid these areas as crews are still on scene.
WILDFIRE ALERT: 6 p.m., May 6
Multiple agencies address 550 acre woods fire in South Walton.
Posted by South Walton Fire District on Wednesday, 6 May 2020
A massive wildfire broke out near Mussett Bayou and swept down to County Road 30A in the Thompson Drive area around 6 pm on May 6. A 100-member strong team comprising multiple agencies including South Walton Fire District, Walton County Emergency Management, Florida Highway Patrol, and Florida Forestry worked together to manage the crises and evacuations started in the area of Mussett Bayou Road, southeast to the Gulf of Mexico.
By 9:30 p.m., several families in Blue Mountain Beach were evacuated as the fire continued to move southeast abetted by high winds. By 10:30 p.m. approximately 575 acres of land had been destroyed near the south of US 98 and West of Hwy 393.
Walton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Corey Dobridnia said several homes on Thompson Drive had been consumed by the fire. Parts of County Highway 393, Highway 30A and Highway 98 were closed to traffic.
A shelter has been set up at South Walton High School, staffed by the Red Cross and WCSO school resource officers where food, water and bedding is being provided to evacuees.