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N.J. wildfire burns through 400 acres across 2 counties

Wildfire in the Wharton State Forest is 75% contained according to latest update

By Len Melisurgo

HAMMONTON, N.J. — As of 8 p.m., the blaze had grown to 400 acres but was 75% contained and Jackson Road was reopened.

Firefighters are trying to stop a wildfire that has spread to 100 acres in Wharton State Forest in Burlington and Camden counties Wednesday morning.

The wildfire was reported by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service at about 10 a.m., saying firefighters were battling the blaze off Jackson Road in Shamong Township and Waterford Township.

As of 11:15 a.m., Jackson Road was closed from Tremont Avenue to Atsion Road, the fire service said in a post on social media. The fire has also prompted officials to evacuate the Goshen Campground and close three hiking trails in the state park — the Burnt Mill Trail, the Goshen Pond Trail and the Sleeper Creek Trail.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service expressed concerns about an elevated threat of wildfires in New Jersey because of low humidity, dry brush and gusty winds.

Although Wednesday isn’t as dry as Tuesday with isolated rain showers in the forecast today, light winds persist and temperatures are expected to climb into the low 70s in the afternoon.

“Residents are urged to exercise caution handling any potential ignition source, including machinery, cigarettes and matches,” the weather service said in a special weather statement issued Tuesday. “Be sure to properly discard all smoking materials. Any dry grasses and tree litter that ignite will have the potential to spread quickly.”

Wharton State Forest, in the heart of New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, covers more than 110,000 acres of land in Atlantic, Burlington and Camden counties.

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