Update: Walton County wildfire burns 575 acres

Published: May. 6, 2020 at 6:54 PM CDT
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UPDATE 05/07/2020 (9:23 p.m.)

Florida Forest Service firefighters continue battling a wildfire in Walton County. As of 9:00 PM EST, the fire is estimated at 575 acres and is 70 percent contained.

The Florida Forest Service has deployed 15 tractor plow units and 2 engines, and is also working with local fire departments; 2 additional dozer strike teams have also been deployed.

Approximately 500 residents had been evacuated.

Evacuations have been lifted and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office is escorting homeowners into the affected area.

The State of Florida has requested FEMA FMAG assistance.


UPDATE 05/07/2020 10:03 a.m.:

Fire officials say at least 33 homes have been destroyed in the fire. The fire is at 575 acres and remains 60 percent contained.


Update 8:52 a.m. 5/7/2020

According to the Florida Forest Service, the wildfire is currently burning 575 acres and is 60 percent contained.

The official cause of the fire has been determined to be burning of illegal materials.

Update 7:25 a.m. 5/7/2020

Officials with the Walton County Sheriff's Office told NewsChannel 7 Thursday morning that the fire is now 65 percent contained. It has burned more than 600 acres.

Lt. Dustin Cosson says Highway 98 is open. However, commuters should exercise caution in the area of Thompson Drive as there is still the presence of smoke.

Cosson says officials are preparing for the possibility of more evacuations, though no additional evacuations have been ordered since last night.

The Department of Agriculture is currently investigating the fire. No arrests have been made in connection to the blaze at this time.


Update 3 a.m. 5/7/2020

The South Walton Fire District and Florida Forest Service say the wildfire has reached 575 acres and is now 60 percent contained.

Reports indicate several dozen homes off of Thompson Drive were involved.

Residents are still asked to avoid the area.


Update 12 a.m. 5/7/2020

In a Facebook Live video, Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson says he expects an arrest regarding the cause of the fire Wednesday. An illegal burn is the suspected cause.


UPDATE 10 p.m. 5/6/2020

According to the Florida Forest Service around 500 people have been evacuated due to the wildfire.

Officials say evacuations started southeast of Mussett Bayou Road and has expanded to much of the area surrounding Highway 98 and Highway 393. As of 8 o’clock Wednesday night, forest officials say the fire was around 550 acres with around 18 structures burned and is expected to grow.

Emergency management officials say containment estimates are between 10 and 20 percent.

Sheriff's officials say those evacuating have been told to go to South Walton High School if needed as it’s been opened as a shelter.

Florida Forest Service, South Walton Fire District, the Walton County sheriff's office, and more are On scene to battle the blaze.

For those traveling on Highway 98 officials say to use caution as flames or smoke may be seen throughout the roadway but if possible avoid the area of Highway 393 and Highway 98 to make room for first responders and firefighters.


A wildland fire is burning in South Walton and some evacuations are underway in the Mussett Bayou Area. See pictures and videos and share your own here...

More details from our crew on the scene in a few.

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