The Florida Department of Corrections evacuated 1,700 inmates from the Gulf Correctional Institution Tuesday evening to nearby Franklin Correctional Institution in Carrabelle, and to the Northwest Florida Reception Center in Chipley.
Gulf County Emergency Managementout said the decision was made out of an abundance of caution as officials worry changes in the wind might push the Bertha Swamp Road wildfire further into Gulf County.
Matt Herring, the director of Gulf County Emergency Management, said that the DOC has had a contingency plan in place since the Bertha Swamp Road fire broke out in northwest Gulf County on Friday.
“The storm that’s coming tomorrow going to bring some heavy winds,” said Herring. “They’re just worried that if the winds change and push (the fire) in that direction, then they could be in a mess.”
All inmates and staff are accounted for at this time.