One week in, Bertha Swamp Road fire at 40 percent containment

The Bertha Swamp Road fire, which began in northwest Gulf County one week ago,  remains at a little over 33,000 acres.

Increased rainfall over the past several days has helped firefighters make significant improvements to the fire’s containment.

The Florida Forest Service  reported that the fire was 40 percent contained Friday morning, twenty percentage points higher than it was at the last update Thursday morning.

Management of the fire will slowly be transitioned back to the FFS Chipola Forestry Center.

The Forest Service said in a release that residents should continue to exercise caution with dry, windy weather returning in the coming days.

“Residents are encouraged to continue to use extreme caution,” they wrote. “Hurricane Michael destroyed 2.8 million acres of trees in the Panhandle. Much of the debris remains on the ground, ready to burn.”

“It’s not about if a wildfire will ignite, but when.”

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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