Forest fires burn in New Jersey

Multiple fires rage in southern New Jersey

April 25, 2014


A new forest fire is burning in southern New Jersey, even as crews have subdued four others that broke out since mid-week.

Several forest fires in Ocean County scorched more than 300 acres Thursday, threatened homes and businesses and forced a school to close early.

The latest fire was reported around 11:00 a.m. Friday in Shamong Township in Burlington County, where 50 acres of Wharton State Forest have burned so far.

The Jersey Forest Fire Service expects it to spread to 200 acres.

In Franklinville, Gloucester County the White Oaks wildfire is at 50 percent containment. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and so far it has burned more than 550 acres.

According to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, the bulk of the fire burned on state property, but crept dangerously close to about 60 homes.

There were no evacuations or homes damaged.

At the same time, firefighters battled the second day of a forest fire in Downe Township in Cumberland County, at the far southern end of the state.

That fire, n the Bevans Wildlife Management Area, was 50 percent contained and firefighters were hopeful it wouldn’t spread any further. No homes or other buildings were in the immediate area of the fire, which had burned nearly 2 square miles.

David Achey f the New Jersey Forest Service said, “Even though we’ve had a wet winter, we’ve had a few really extremely windy days, and it only takes a day or two for the fuel (leaves, tree branches) to dry out.”

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