PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - Hundreds of residents forced to evacuate as blazes in the Florida Panhandle threatened their homes have been allowed to return to their homes, even as three wildfires in the region have grown to more than 29,000 acres.
Over the weekend, 1,100 residents were evacuated from homes in Bay County, Florida. But officials gave the approval Monday for about 600 residents to return after one of the fires — the 875-acre Adkins Avenue Fire — was 50% contained.
The largest of the wildfires, the Bertha Swamp Road Fire, has grown to more than 28,000 acres and was only 10% contained. Mandatory evacuations remained in place for hundreds of residents who fled because of this fire, officials said Tuesday.
A third blaze, the Star Avenue Fire, forced the evacuation of a state-operated nursing home for veterans Sunday but residents were allowed to return Monday. As of Tuesday morning, the 250-acre wildfire was 60% contained.