Multiple homes evacuated as firefighters work to put out massive wildfire

Walton County

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) —

Update: 10:15 Florida Forest Service officials say 575 acres have burned in the fire and it is 25 percent contained.

Update: 9:45 p.m.

Walton Sheriff’s officials said, “If you fall in the evacuation area (see map below), you will receive a phone call or a deputy will knock on your door and advise you to evacuate immediately. Residents should expect to smell smoke and possibly see flames throughout the night.”

Multiple structures have burned but no injuries have been reported at this time.

Those being evacuated can take shelter at South Walton High School. American Red Cross is responding to that location to assist those affected.

Evacuation Area

Update: 9:30 p.m.

More than 500 homes in Walton County have been evacuated after a 500 acre wildfire raged through the area. It’s unclear what caused the fire but it came on one of the most dangerous days of the year as forestry officials had previously warned that burn conditions were perfect for just such a catastrophe.

First responders said multiple homes have been destroyed in the blaze but it is still unknown exactly how many structures were destroyed.

South Walton High School on US Hwy 331 has been designated by Walton County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Walton County School District, as an evacuation shelter for the Mussett Bayou Fire. People who arrive at the school must remain in the parking lot until they have been screened for COVID-19.

Update 9 p.m.

Multiple agencies are on scene in South Walton fighting an outside woods fire that has rapidly spread, Walton County officials said on social media Wednesday night.

“Westbound motorists need to avoid both Highway 98 and 30a to the west of Highway 331. Eastbound motorists need to avoid Highway 98 and 30a west of Mack Bayou Road,” they added. “Evacuations have started in the area of Mussett Bayou Road south east to the Gulf of Mexico.”

Multiple structures have burned, they wrote.

South Walton Fire District, Walton County Emergency Management, Florida Highway Patrol, and Florida Forestry are all working to contain the fire.

Update 7:41 p.m.

South Walton High School on US Hwy 331 has been designated by Walton County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Walton County School District, as an evacuation shelter for the Mussett Bayou Fire. People who arrive at the school must remain in the parking lot until they have been screened for COVID-19.

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) Multiple agencies are on working to put out a large wildfire in the Musset Bayou Road area.

South Walton Fire District Fire Marshal said the fire broke out in the woods and has jumped Highway 98.

He said multiple homes have been evacuated.

Courtesy: Robin Thomas

Drivers should expect delays as there are portions of County Highway 393 are blocked off and there are also portions of Highway 30A and Highway 98 closed.

Chief Meteorologist Ross Whitley said high fire danger conditions have contributed to the rapid growth of the fire. Winds gusting to 30 mph and relative humidity below 20 percent are perfect conditions for wildfire growth.

There was a know contained wildfire in the same area a few days ago and this could have flared up from that fire.

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