Hundreds more residents in the Florida Panhandle were evacuated Saturday as a wildfire propelled by trees toppled by Hurricane Michael four years ago spread further through dryness and powerful winds.

Hundreds of thousands of felled trees caused by Hurricane Category 2018 winds and high humidity have created “the perfect storm” for dangerous fire conditions in Bay County, Fla., Ron DeSantis said at a news conference in Panama City.

“This is not a surprise,” DeSantis said at a news conference Saturday in Panama town.

DeSantis praised the firemen for rescuing dozens of homes overnight.

By Saturday afternoon the fire in Adkins Avenue, at an area of 1.500 hectares, had been 30 percent contained, the Florida Forest Service said.

The far greater Bertha Swamp fire first began Friday in neighboring Gulf County but spread to Bay and Calhoun counties on Saturday, forcing the evacuation of approximately 150 additional houses.

The much larger Bertha Marshes fire has been scorching in Bay County since Friday, forcing the evacuation of at least 600 homes; by Sunday morning, it was 35% contained.

At the news conference, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis advised evacuated homeowners to contact their insurers, saying they would accelerate the process for claim claims should their homes be damaged or destroyed.


Hurricane Michael

READ MORE:  Two fires suspected deliberate set in southeast San Diego

Hurricane Michael was a very powerful and destructive tropical cyclone that became the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United States since Andrew in 1992. Additionally, (wikipedia)


Florida Panhandle

The Florida Panhandle is the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida; it is a strip of land roughly 200 miles long and 50 to 100 miles wide, (wikipedia)