Beulah Fire Was ‘Human Caused’; Santa Rosa Fire Causes Estimated $1.9 Million In Damage; Both 65% Contained

May 10, 2020

The Hurst Hammock Fire in Beulah and the 5 Mile Swamp Fire in Santa Rosa County are now both 65% contained.

Hurst Hammock Fire

The Hurst Hammock Fire is now mapped at 1,248 acres and 65% contained. The Florida Forest Service announced Sunday morning that the fire was “human caused”. While firefighters and investigators have not pinpointed the exact cause, there was no lightning or other natural source for this fire to start.

There was an increase in fire activity on the southwest area of the fire yesterday that threatened several homes in the Hurst Landing area. Crews on scene quickly responded with dozers and quickly contained the spot fire to only one acre. Fire behavior on the rest of the fire area was quiet.

A Gyro Tract, which is a specialized piece of equipment used to mow vegetation, began work on the east side of the Hurst Hammock Fire yesterday. Reducing the buildup of hazardous fuel (vegetation) loads will reduce the potential damaging impacts from another possible wildfire, the Forest Service said.

Crews will continue to improve and hold the established containment lines.

5 Mile Swamp Fire

The 5 Mile Swamp Fire is now 2206 acres and 65% contained.

After a five-day, multi-agency response to the Five Mile Swamp Fire, Santa Rosa County Emergency Management is pulling back structure fire equipment and personnel. The Florida Forest Service will retain command of the fire. The Florida Forest Service Blue Incident Management Team, which took command at noon on Thursday, is based out of the Santa Rosa County Emergency Operations Center.

Santa Rosa County’s damage assessment team has determined 14 residential structures were destroyed (seven damaged) with a total of 27 buildings destroyed. The estimated value for residential structure losses is $1,902,887. No responders or residents were injured. Monetary donations for long-term recovery efforts for residents who have lost their homes can be made to Safer Santa Rosa.

Crews were focusing Saturday on mopping-up hot spots in residential areas and on roadways as well as monitoring the containment lines. Minimal fire behavior with some creeping and smoldering was observed. A strike team of engines out of Tallahassee from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is now in place conducting mop up operations to minimize smoke impacts to surrounding neighborhoods such as Robinson Point and Garcon Point.

There are 117 personnel assigned to this fire. On Sunday, crews will continue to patrol, mop up hot spots, and monitor smoke impacts.

“Santa Rosa County has always had a strong working relationship with our state and regional partners,” said Santa Rosa County Public Safety Director Brad Baker. “We appreciate their timely and tireless support and we would like to thank everyone who pitched in to help – from firefighters on the ground and in the air, to the staff manning the citizens’ information line, to the restaurants providing meals for our evacuees.”

Agencies who have responded to Five Mile Swamp Fire include Allentown, Avalon, Bagdad, East Milton, Harold, Munson, Pace, Skyline, Whiting Field, Gulf Breeze, Midway, Holley-Navarre and Navarre Beach fire departments in Santa Rosa County along with Okaloosa Wildland Task Force, Jacksonville Fire Rescue Wildland Task Force, HZ-57 1302 Wildland Task Force, Escambia County (Florida) Fire, Escambia County (Alabama) Fire, Baldwin County Fire, Florida Forest Service, Lifeguard Ambulance, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office and Santa Rosa County Emergency Management.


5 Responses to “Beulah Fire Was ‘Human Caused’; Santa Rosa Fire Causes Estimated $1.9 Million In Damage; Both 65% Contained”

  1. Denny on May 10th, 2020 1:22 pm

    Sammy JOe, Pensacola is in Escambia County, but the Pensacola Fire Department and Escambia Fire Department are different organizations. I tried looking up Baker and Okaloosa fire organizations but couldn’t find enough info to see if they were related or distinct. I tend to think they are different organizations because one is wildland-focused and the other residential, and one is a town name and the other a county.

  2. PC on May 10th, 2020 12:52 pm

    Where is the name of the contractor who started the Santa Rosa Fire?? They should be liable for those homes destroyed!!

  3. Sammy JOe on May 10th, 2020 11:23 am

    “”Baker fire district is not listed in this news story as a responding agency.”"

    Think before you speak. “Okaloosa Wildland Task Force”. Baker is where? Okaloosa County.

  4. Anne on May 10th, 2020 8:47 am

    THANKS to and for the Heroines and Heroes who are boots on Fighting these terrible fires,
    THANKS to and for the Support Persons who provide the needed supplies, materials, food, water and shelter for the Fire Fighters.
    Thoughts and Prayers for those whose homes and other things were lost and damaged in these fires.
    Thanks to God that nobody lost their lives in these fires.
    Much to be Thankful for on this Mother’s Day.

  5. Oversight on May 10th, 2020 7:30 am

    Interesting. Baker fire district is not listed in this news story as a responding agency. And yet they posted pics from a California fire as if they were their own fighting the five mile swamp fire.

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