Wildfire burns structures and closes I-10 south of Milton, Florida

Started from an escaped prescribed fire on May 4

map Five Mile Fire Milton Florida Interstate 10
Map showing heat detected on the Five Mile Swamp Fire by a satellite at 2:48 a.m. CDT May 7, 2020.

(UPDATED at 9:50 a.m. CDT May 7, 2020)

Satellite data collected overnight shows heat from the Five Mile Swamp Fire well south of Interstate 10 on both sides of Garcon Point Road approaching Blackwater Bay.

(Originally published at 9 p.m. CDT May 6, 2020)

map Five Mile Fire Milton Florida Interstate 10
Map showing heat detected on the Five Mile Swamp Fire by a satellite at 3:24 p.m. CDT May 6, 2020.

Strong winds and low relative humidity caused a wildfire in the panhandle of Florida to grow about eight times its size Wednesday. The Five Mile Swamp Fire started from an escaped prescribed fire Monday afternoon and by Wednesday afternoon had blackened approximately 2,000 acres (up from 250 acres Wednesday morning) forcing the closure of Interstate 10 south of Milton, Florida.

The fire is burning on both sides of Interstate 10 about five miles south of Milton. The Florida Forest Service (FFS) reports several structures south of I-10 have been damaged or destroyed.

On Wednesday resources working the fire included 18 tractor/plow units, 3 helicopters, and firefighters from multiple departments throughout Santa Rosa County.

Residents of Ski Lane north of I-10, and those south of I-10 and east of Avalon Boulevard have been ordered to evacuate.

About 1,100 residences are threatened by the Five Mile Swamp Fire.

Five Mile Fire Milton Florida Interstate 10

The prescribed fire from which the wildfire escaped was on private land east of the former Moors golf course, east of Avalon Blvd., and north of I-10. Described as a “#GoodFire” by the Florida Forest Service in a May 4 tweet, it was expected to burn only 250 acres.

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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. Google+

8 thoughts on “Wildfire burns structures and closes I-10 south of Milton, Florida”

  1. Once again a “controlled” forest fire is no longer controlled. Who decided that now, in the middle of a drought, that this was a good time to burn part of the forest. I have noticed that this has happened many times before. I wonder how many of these controlled fires have ended up being out of control in the last ten years.

  2. Awful for those in the path of this fire. Prayers for you.

    Santa Rosa County Disaster Guide: https://indd.adobe.com/view/7cfcae78-bc57-48f8-b703-fd527868b659

    IF SAFE TO DO SO: Before evacuating take pictures of all rooms, structures, outbuildings and their contents. Pay special attention to high value items, take pictures of insurance declaration pages, or prescription med labels, pictures of important printed pictures then upload to cloud or email to yourself. Pack a laptop/tablet, chargers for your packed devises, insurance policies, medications, medical devises, important legal papers, passport, birth certificates, ID’s, credit cards, cash, jewelry, pack clothing thats easy to hand wash/dry. Move vehicles, boats, RV’s ect to a safe location out of fire zone. Anchor boats away from wooden docks. If evacuating to a hotel try to reserve a room with WIFI, a refrigerator, better yet one that also provides a microwave and or a kitchenette. Reserve a week or more at a time you can always cancel extra days.

    Hopefully all destruction will have missed you, if not and you know you have damage to your insured property file a claim with your insurance company right away, do not delay even if you don’t know the extent of your damage it can be amended.

  3. I can remember when much of this area was frequently burned, and fires did not get out of control. However, that was in the 1980’s. There has been a lot of fuel accumulation from fire suppression and landscape fragmentation since that era. If burning was more frequent, it would not be as likely to get out of control.

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