Brush fire ignites near west jetty

Heather Osbourne | 315-4440 | @heatheronwfdn |

OKALOOSA ISLAND — A brush fire near the west jetty burned almost two acres of Eglin Air Force Base land Thursday night.

"It was pretty difficult to fight the fire because of the dense brush," Okaloosa Island Fire Chief Kevin Carvalho said just after 10:30 p.m. as he instructed firefighters to extinguish the remaining hot spots. "It took about an hour and 15 minutes to put out."

Destin firefighters also responded to the blaze, as did Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies, EMS crews and personnel from Eglin.

Carvalho said fireworks detonated in the area might have sparked the blaze.

There were no reports of injuries.

Alan Myers of Destin said he was near the west jetty when the fire started. Myers said the blaze was sparked by beachgoers who shot off a firework that malfunctioned.

"It started out relatively small and spread really quickly," he said. "I was upset. That's natural habitat for animals that are indigenous to the area. Some folks just don't respect that." 

Law enforcement had not confirmed late Thursday whether fireworks actually had started the fire.

The Daily News will update the story when more information becomes available.