Florida Forest Service Suspects Several Recent Wildfires To Be A - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Florida Forest Service Suspects Several Recent Wildfires To Be Arson

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A wildfire is what the Florida Forest Service calls a bad fire and within the last week, several of them have popped up in Gulf County burning hundreds of acres.

"Wanting this fire to go away," says Patrick Bunch, who lives near-by.

The 100 acre Overstreet Wildfire has Bunch on edge as smoke and flames can still be seen not too far from his backyard.

"We lose trees and timber but that's part of it, you know," says Bunch. "We're just thankful it didn't hurt nobody or take out no houses out there or anything."

The Florida Forest Service has fully contained the blaze which started Wednesday afternoon and threatened about 30 homes and briefly closed the Overstreet bridge.

Although contained, Brian Goddin with the Florida Forest Service says it could be a week before it's completely out.

"Just because a fire is fully contained or 100 percent contained, doesn't mean it doesn't pose a threat to escaping to getting back into the community," says Goddin.

Fire crews will continue to monitor the smoldering blaze, which is just 1 out of 5 wildfires that have started in the last 5 days throughout Gulf County.

"We believe those 5 fires, 4 of which we are still working right now, still monitoring still putting lines around, is possibly started intentionally and that is by the work of an arsonist," explains Goddin.

A clue to the suspected arson is finding the start point which they believe to be on South Long Street Road off Highway 386.

The Florida Forest Service encourages anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the surrounding areas to contact their local law enforcement.