BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)– As of Friday morning, the Bertha Swamp Rd. fire is now over 30,000 acres and is still actively burning across three Panhandle counties.

Now, there are concerns about how this weekend’s expected severe weather could affect firefighters efforts.
Forestry officials said the rain has certainty helped the Bertha Swamp Road wildfire, but suggest the community remain vigilant.

Firefighters spent Thursday improving containment lines on the fire and looking for any new activity. A burn ban remains in effect in Bay, Gulf, and Calhoun counties.

Firefighters did come across some new hotspots, but were able to put them out quickly. Florida Forest Service Public Information Officer Melanie Banton said the inclement weather could cause some more flare ups.

A burn ban remains in effect in Bay, Gulf, and Calhoun counties. Firefighters did come across some new hotspots but were able to put them out quickly. Florida Forest Service Public Information Officer Melanie Banton said the inclement weather could cause some more flare-ups.

“Firefighters will be out patrolling and monitoring that area, and making sure that they can focus on any of those hotspots. They will try to knock them down and get that heat out of there. The rain has really helped to knock back a lot of this heat so they can get in there and do that mop-up work,” she said.

Bay County Chief of Emergency Services Brad Monroe said they’re going to continue to monitor the fire while also attending to other emergencies in Bay County.