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Residents thankful as firefighters battle High Hill fire in Apalachicola National Forest

Posted at 11:18 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 23:18:22-04

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — As many as 400 acres are burned in Wakulla County and firefighters are working to contain the brush fire fueled by dry, windy weather.

The smoke made it hard to see along Highway 20 and Smith Creek Road Monday evening.

Florida Highway Patrol is also pitching in to keep you safe.

"I heard the sirens," said John Havens, who lives near the fire in the Apalachicola National Forest. "About six huge sirens flying by the house."

For Havens, it wasn't the sirens that caused concern. It was the sound of aircrafts that signaled something bigger.

"When you've been out here, you get used to fires," Havens said.

His house just two miles down the road from the fire on Monday that had billows of smoke filling the sky on County Road 375 near Smith Creek in Wakulla.

The cause is thought to be human, but the weather conditions helped the spread.

"The last few months in Florida haven't produced significant enough rain to really keep our wetland areas saturated," said Birk Roseman, the District Ranger of the Apalachicola National Forest. "So with these conditions, we wouldn't be surprised to have a fire like this, of this size and this complexity."

Another issue is visibility. Clouds of thick smoke make it hard to see anything.

Around 30 firefighters are working to contain this throughout the night and into Tuesday morning.

Rangers say there is currently no property damage or homes at risk, good news for people like Havens.

"They take care of the fires really well when a fire breaks," said Havens.