Historic. Catastrophic. An event South Walton Fire District officials say they’ll never forget.
“Just that quick, in the blink of an eye, it was on us,” Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez said.
The Santa Rosa Beach community was hit by a wildfire that burned more than 500 acres and destroyed 33 homes.
“It certainly was impactful to our community and we do our best to move on from it as best as we can and try to prevent it from happening again,” Sanchez said. SWFD officials said the Mussett Bayou wildfire pushed them to their limits.
“It was definitely larger than we could ever prepare for as a district at that time,” District Chief Chris Kidder said.
But support helped them battle the flames.
“When I say all hands, I mean everyone in the district was working, every division was working, our fleet maintenance was working, our life safety division was working, beach safety division was working, Walton County [Sheriff’s Office] was supporting us,” Kidder said.