PANAMA CITY BEACH — The red tide bloom off Panama City Beach appears to be spreading out and growing more intense.

Out of 20 sites sampled in Bay County from Sept. 10 to 12, Karenia brevis, the toxic algae responsible for red tide, was present in 14 of them, according to the FWC Friday report. At two sites, in the St. Andrew Pass and at the former Pelican Point Golf Course at “medium” concentrations, between 100,000 to 1,000,000 cells per liter, and enough to cause respiratory irritation and fish kills. At other sites in Bay County it was detected in background to very low levels.

Since the sampling was done, more fish kills have been reported along the beaches.

Small bait fish and sizable red fish were washing up near the Russell-Fields pier on Friday night. At the Panama City Marina, the carcasses of dead fish were mixed in with seaweed on Saturday morning. And fish kills have continued to be a problem at St. Andrews State Park.

People have also reported respiratory issues.

Red tide is notorious for being patchy, so while one part of the beach may have dead fish and cause issues, just a little ways down the beach conditions could be completely fine. It’s also nearly impossible to predict how long a bloom will last.

Forecasters with FWC are predicting the bloom will move to the east over the next three days.

In northwest Florida, red tide was observed at very low concentrations in Santa Rosa County, very low concentrations in Walton County, background concentrations in Gulf County, background concentrations in Franklin County and very low concentrations in Pasco County.

While the red tide is relatively new to Northwest Florida, it’s been causing havoc in Southwest Florida for months, killing fish, whale sharks, manatees and more. Currently, it is impacting 130 miles of coastline, from northern Pinellas to Lee counties, and extends 10 miles offshore.

Red tides are naturally occurring and have been documented for hundreds of years. However, there is some debate about if human factors, such as increased nutrients from runoff, have worsened them.

The next report will be released Wednesday.