SOUTH WALTON, Fla. (WMBB)–Today marks one month since the Mussett Bayou wildfire burned through Santa Rosa Beach. The fire destroyed and damaged 346 acres of land and 50 homes in the process.
Authorities tell us the fire started at a mobile home on Mussett Bayou Road and it quickly became out of control. The fire jumped Highway 98, damaging the landscape of Santa Rosa Beach in the process.
The South Walton Fire District is now releasing never before seen drone footage of the fire.
While local law enforcement agencies worked tirelessly on the ground to keep the community safe they also took to the sky, documenting just how strong the fire was.
First responders say it’s up to us a community to play our part in making sure this doesn’t happen again.
“If we don’t take the precautions as homeowners to do everything that we can then all that’s really doing is increasing the odds. Forestry has some really great guidelines and unfortunately a lot of people don’t follow them and the biggest thing you can do is not burn if you don’t meet the setbacks. And unfortunately that’s what caused this fire by somebody illegally burning,” said Sammy Sanchez, the Fire Marshal for the South Walton Fire District.
The Florida Department of Agriculture arrested Allen Smith after learning he reportedly started the fire.
News 13 also spoke with a Walton County deputy who played a crucial role in getting residents to safety when the fire first broke out.
To view the full story, you can visit https://www.mypanhandle.com/news/walton-county/in-the-face-of-fire/