Salvation Army serves first responders in Florida wildfires

By: David Ibata

The Salvation Army in Florida mobilized in response to widely separated wildfires, in Collier County in the southwest part of the state, and in the Florida Panhandle.

The Naples Command provided hydration, snacks, lunch and dinner to about 250 first responders in Collier County. The 22nd Avenue and 36th Avenue fires combined are burning 4,000 acres, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services reported.

In the Panhandle, the Pensacola Corps provided lunch, dinner and hydration to responders in the 5 Mile Swamp wildfire. The 2,215-acre blaze destroyed 14 homes and damaged seven others.

The Fort Walton Beach Corps provided snacks and hydration to responders in the Mussett Bayou Wildfire, which destroyed 33 residences and damaged seven others across 343 acres.

More than a dozen wildfires have swept across Florida in the past week. As of Thursday, May 14, the Panhandle fires were 90 percent or more contained, but the Collier County fires were only 0 to 10 percent contained and for a time shut down Interstate 75.

Evacuations have been ordered affecting hundreds of residents.