Fire in SoWal -- Seagrove Beach

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Smiling JOe, May 8, 2007.

  1. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    In the face of these events, this would be a VERY good time to pursue a change.

    Hint: the Black Creek fire, the Red Bay fire, and the Seagrove fire are all in Commissioner Scott Brannon's district (District 1).
     
  2. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    My "natural landscape" is leaves from all the trees overhead. A packed dirt yard seems a bit extreme/unsightly.
     
  3. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Are you suggesting he make a change that would benefit US instead of all the developers who paid to get him elected? :bang:
     
  4. hi n dry

    hi n dry Beach Lover

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    A witness that was on the scene said the smoke and fire was so intense that it took the fire fighters 20 minutes just to fight their way from the street to the units on fire.

    The witness also said the flames were as high as the buildings-you can see charring on the rafter tails and soffits on most of the Units 127 to 132. The exterior of the buildings except for the wood trim was fire-resistant material and undoubtedly mitigated the damage.

    The Bungalow units #114 and 115 were completely destroyed.

    Units #113, 116, 117, 118 did not appear damaged except for melted satellite dishes and AC units. However, the wooden walkway to these houses was completely destroyed in some sections. House units to the west were OK except some closest to the fire had the ground covering charred to the dirt (all the pine straw burned) and some A/C damage.

    Unit 126 had its walkway entrance partially burned but otherwise seemed intact.

    Most of the Units 127 to 132 had varying degrees of exterior scorching to wood exterior (shutters, trim and soffits on east side toward the forest) and some interior smoke and water damage.

    SJ and I were there taking extensive pics which will be posted later.

    The plat of the Bungalows below shows the direction of the fire and the 2 destroyed units circled.
     
  5. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    Wouldn't hurt to ask. And it wouldn't hurt to mention it to some of the other board members as well.
     
  6. BeachSiO2

    BeachSiO2 Beach Fanatic

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    On a related note, did anyone see that they got a D- from the Walton County Tax Payers Association this past year for their budget? Additionally, with the property tax reform is going on in June in Tallahassee aren't their budgets subject to cut backs too? This is a serious issue and I do not want to hijack the thread. I am just pointing out that I am glad they had the budget they did to get the job done this time- and it's not over yet!!

    Here is the website write-up from Tax Payers Assn (emphasis added by me)

    South Walton Fire District

    The South Walton Fire District finally agreed to lower their millage rate by 3/100 of a mill. This is their first decrease in millage rate since the taxing authority was created.

    The SWFD board expressed the position that response times and levels of service are their main focus.

    In reality they have increased the taxes on the people of South Walton by 178% while the population has only increased 14%

    The budget for the SWFD increased 19.42% this year. The WCTA targets for growth was 6-8% for each taxing authorities. It should be noted that the SWFD added three full time positions for the next year.

    The salaries and wages line item increased by 24.2%.

    The total growth in expenses is 3 times the WCTA target growth for all taxing authorities

    The 2006 millage rate is .80

    Grade - D-
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2007
  7. TreeFrog

    TreeFrog Beach Fanatic

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    I just got back from a quick drive through. There's still some smoke from the woods east of the Bungalows, and there's a SWFD truck up in there monitoring it. The damage I saw looks just like Hi n Dry described.

    Up at the north end of Robert Ellis St. (beside Cocoons) there is still one the caterpillar units on the street, probably also there for insurance against a flare-up.
     
  8. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    Population growth is a pretty lousy way of judging growth on SoWal because of the large number of structures that are not primary residences.

    As for salaries, firefighting across the region has become more professional and professionalized over the past five years. Skills and training required to get licensed have increased, and the number of volunteer firefighters has likely decreased there as in other areas. The new push is to have firefighters be paramedics, not just EMTs. So paying more for better trained employees seems to be a fair enough proposition.
     
  9. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    No pictures to post yet, but maybe tonight I will have some time to post them.

    State Forestry crews are still cutting breaks north of the fire, separating the burned area from the non burned forest.

    I did notice the motto on the door of a SW Fire Engine today. I didn't read past the first word, "prompt." I thought, yes, thankfully they are!

    Coincidentally, there is a SW Fireman who lives in the immediate area of the fire. His boardwalk has burned edges, but his house looks like it is alright. He was not only fighting for his neighbors, but also for his own house.

    After looking at the damage today, I think there are many lucky property owners, because that fire could have easily took out all of those homes. Having stucco downstairs, and mostly hardi-board upstairs on the exterior of these condos, really helped prevent the fire from taking down the houses. You will see the contrast of the mostly unharmed hardi-board on the second floor, compared to the charred wooden shutters.
     
  10. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Has anyone heard anything about the cause of the fire?
     
  11. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I've heard only speculation as to the cause. Supposedly it started in a yard of a home in the subdivision immediately north of the Bungalows at Seagrove Beach S/D. Hi and Dri posted a photo of the home where it is thought to have started, but no one has confirmed that at this time.
     
  12. BeachSiO2

    BeachSiO2 Beach Fanatic

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    One other thing. Did anyone notice that the new SWFD fire chief just started on April 30th I think.:eek: How's this for a first couple of weeks!!!!!:shock:

    I hope he doesn't want to reconsider :D
     
  13. rebelprincess06

    rebelprincess06 Beach Comber

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    Too bad for the Chief!!!!! Im sure FIRE is his passion. He is doing an amazing job to help us though.I give him PROPS!!!!!!!:clap_1: (two thumbs up) lol:rolling: :clap_1:
     
  14. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    CNN said that Governor Crist held a news conference and said that 54 out of the 67 counties in Florida have active fires burning right now. We're hoping that a band of rain from Subtropical Storm Andrea will give us some rain -- they say it's headed back towards Florida. Reminds me of the James Taylor song, "Fire and Rain." Just hope it doesn't turn into a hurricane -- then it'd be "Fire, Rain, and Hurricane.":bang:
     
  15. yboi_kma

    yboi_kma Beach Lover

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    Dont mean to use thise SoWAL for info on another city, BUT.... HWY 98 Thomas Drive West has a MAJOR fire burning from the CVS Pharmacy and roads are closed. Check www. wjhg.com
    THis is getting bad people.
     
  16. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    :welcome:
     
  17. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    Thanks for letting us know. My brother's in-laws own there. I'll call him right now.
     
  18. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Unfortunately, last I heard of Andrea, if we do get rain it will not be a soaking rain and won't help w/ the fires.

    How are all these fires being started? Was I the only one who learned from Smokey the Bear?

    Perhaps people could refrain from tossing lit cigarettes out of their cars until we get some rain.................

    I'm confining my cooking to indoors, no BBQ for me until we get rain!
     
  19. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    Good point. We have renters coming in on Sunday. I need to get the word to them.
     
  20. JB

    JB Beach Fanatic

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    Things will still be dry this weekend, but the red flag warnings will likely be lifted, as there will be much more humidity. No one should let their guard down, but we should not have to worry as much about the current "explosive" conditions.
     

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