A map showing the location of the fire [ FFS ]
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Florida Forest Service responding to fire north of Highland View

UPDATE JULY 6 — The fire is now 75 percent contained. Updates will be provided here.

UPDATE 9 P.M. — The fire is now reported to be 50 percent contained.


The Florida Forest Service reported that they were responding to an active wildfire in swampland about two miles north of Highland View.

The exact acreage of the fire is unknown. At this time, no structures are threatened and the forest service has not requested additional support from local fire departments.

It has been named the Chicken House Branch Fire.

The forest service is reporting that the fire is 10 percent contained at this time, though Gulf County Emergency Management Director Matt Herring said that due to the swampy nature of its location, crews were having difficulty accessing the fire.

“It’s in the swamp, and they can’t event get to it with their tractors. They’re cutting lines around it, but they can’t even get to it, so it’s going to have to burn to them. It’s too dangerous for them to take a tractor into the swamp,” he said.

Herring said these local departments would remain on standby in case a change in the wind pushes the fire towards Highland View.

This report will be updated as 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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