BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Six months after thousands of acres were burned and homes destroyed by the Chipola complex fire, Bay County has received funding to ensure a wildfire of that magnitude never happens again.

“Most of this money probably will be used for defensible spaces and that sort of stuff,” Bay County Chief of Emergency Services Brad Monroe said. 

The state allocated more than $2 million to Bay and Calhoun County for fire mitigation. 

“So there may be some opportunities for homeowners to get spaces like along the perimeters of their property,” Monroe said.

Monroe said the money could be used for debris cleanup and creating fire lines around homes.

Florida Forest Services received $15 million to be used throughout the Panhandle. 

“It will enable the Florida Forestry Service to be more assertive in creating defensible spaces,” Monroe said. “Use toward mitigation of future fires through efforts they normally don’t have the money to do.”

County officials said the 33,000-acre fire began when someone tried to burn debris in extremely dry conditions.