Gulf County burn ban expires

A burn ban that was issued in Gulf County on March 5 in response to dry, windy conditions that caused the rapid spread of the Bertha Swamp Road fire in the county’s northwest end expired Tuesday, March 15, after several days of rainfall significantly lowered the wildfire threat.

Officials still caution residents to follow all regular burning rules and to obtain state permits when required.

Tuesday morning, as another storm system moved into the panhandle, the Florida Forest Service reported that the Bertha Swamp Road fire was 75 percent contained.

The fire has bunred more than 33,000 acres, and officials say it will likely take several weeks for the fire to be fully extinguished.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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