(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)
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.
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.
I-10 is closed from Exit 22 Avalon Blvd to Exit 31 at Hwy 87.
— FL Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services (@FDACS) May 6, 2020