CALHOUN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) —In Calhoun County, a 90-acre fire is 70% contained. The fire near Dogwood Road started yesterday morning.
On Nov. 1 at around 11 a.m., officials say a man who was just trying to keep warm knocked over a candle and set his tent ablaze.
“He was seriously injured,” said Mossy Pond Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Terry Bohannan.
The man suffered burn injuries and was airlifted to a hospital in Gainesville.
The fire spread over 90 acres.
“It was just spreading so fast. That’s the reason it got away from us. The wind called it and got it into the right kind of fuel. And it just took off,” Bohannan said.
At 2 p.m. Wednesday, officials called for an emergency evacuation.
Calhoun County emergency management was in charge of getting those living on Dogwood and Lake Lillian roads to safety.
“Everyone pretty much wanted to stay put. Some left but everyone was pretty much friendly and understood the severity of the situation,” said Calhoun County Emergency Management Director Jamie Norris.
“It was a scary thing. It was scary knowing that the fire was that close to the house and the wind was really blowing,” said resident Dorothy Adkins.
Adkins was able to return to her home after the evacuation orders were lifted.
Florida Forest Service crews remained on the scene overnight.
They were able to contain the fire up to 70%.
“It is pretty much back to normal outside of what it was. Yesterday was really bad, especially when the embers were falling everywhere,” Adkins said.
Mossy Pond Volunteer Fire Department returned at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2.
“Things are looking a lot better today. The humidity is a little higher than it was yesterday. And the wind is not near as good as it was yesterday,” Bohannan said.
Officials say they’re optimistic about extinguishing the fire by the end of the day.
Assistant Fire Chief Bohannan says when it’s windy with low humidity it’s best to keep flames to a minimum to prevent forest fires.