Bertha Swamp Road fire reaches 28,000 acres

Update  4:00 p.m.: 

The Bertha Swamp Road fire has continued to grow towday, according to the Florida Forest Service, though exact estimates have not been given at this time.

The fire is now forcing evacuations for an undisclosed number of houses in the Broad Branch community near Kinard in Calhoun County.

Update 12:00 p.m.:

Bay County has released an updated map of the mandatory evacuation zones, including an updated estimate of the location of the Bertha Swamp Road fire.

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Previous report:

In an update issued Tuesday morning, Bay County Emergency Services announced that the Bertha Swamp Road fire, which began in northwest Gulf County on Friday, had reached 28,109 acres.

It is still about 10 percent contained.

The majority of the growth is in Calhoun County at this time. No evacuation orders have been issued in Gulf County.

Gulf County first responders remain on standby.

There are currently more than 70 tractor plow units and 10 air assets working to supress the Chipola Complex wildfires, according to Nikki Fried,  Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner.

Fried said that incoming rain forecast for tomorrow through Friday “will not be enough to decrease the wildfire threat anytime soon, especially in Hurricane Michael impacted areas.”

Officials urge residents who have not yet signed up to receive alerts from the county to enroll in ALERTGULF through the Gulf County Emergency Management website.

This report will be updated as more information becomes available.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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