Bay County man charged in Adkins Avenue Fire that destroyed 2 homes, damaged dozen more

Nathan Cobb
The News Herald

SPRINGFIELD — A Bay County man has been charged with two second-degree misdemeanors after officials say he caused the Adkins Avenue Fire, which destroyed at least two homes and damaged a dozen more. 

According to Erin Moffet, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, an investigation by agricultural law enforcement determined that the wildfire started after Theo Adkins burned vegetation on his property on Adkins Avenue.

Adkins now faces one second-degree misdemeanor for reckless burning of land and another for noncertified burning, Moffet said. 

"The Adkins (Avenue) Fire was due to unauthorized escaped debris from (an) unpermitted pile burn on (Adkins') property," she said. 

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Moffet also said there are pending investigations for the Star Avenue Fire and Bertha Swamp Road Fire. 

"We are not at a point where we can comment (on those wildfires)," she said. 

A post on the Bay County, Florida Emergency Services Facebook page from last week, which officials said remained accurate Monday morning, stated the Bertha Swamp fire was 33,131 acres and 60% contained, Star Avenue was 197 acres and 95% contained and Adkins Avenue was 875 acres and 95% contained. 

Valerie Sale, spokeswoman for Bay County, wrote in a text on Monday that a burn ban remains in effect for the area despite several inches of rainfall last week.