Two wildfires burning on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida

wildfires on Elgin Air Force Base map
Map showing the locations of two wildfires on Eglin Air Force Base in northwest Florida. The red and yellow dots represent heat detected by a satellite; the red dots are the most current: 1:47 p.m. EDT, March 22, 2019. Click to enlarge.

Two wildfires have been burning on Eglin Air Force Base in northwest Florida since Thursday.

One of them, the Wet Pond Fire, is burning on Test Area A-77 that contains unexploded ordnance, so firefighters are not entering the area and are formulating a plan to suppress it indirectly with burnout operations from roads or natural barriers. If implemented, that strategy would increase the size to about 4,000 acres.

Base spokesperson Mike Spaits said the fire started during a training mission of the U.S. Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), an Eglin-headquartered unit based in Crestview.

A second fire, in Test Area A-78, had burned about  500 acres as of Friday morning. Work on the fire, Mr. Spaits said, “will include improving dozer lines and continued scouting for additional opportunities to construct fire lines.”

Both blazes are being managed by “members of the Eglin Wildland Support Module with assistance from Florida Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Longleaf Alliance,” according to an 11 a.m. update from Mr. Spaits.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.