NATIONAL NEWS

Massive New Jersey Pine Barrens fire now fully contained

Apr 13, 2023, 9:31 AM

In this photo provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, a massive 2,500-ac...

In this photo provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, a massive 2,500-acre forest fire burns in Ocean County, N.J., early Wednesday, April 12, 2023, as firefighters battle the blaze. The fire started late Tuesday, April 11, and is burning across some 2,500 acres (about 1,000 hectares). (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection via AP)

MANCHESTER, N.J. (AP) — A fire that tore through 6 square miles (15 square kilometers) of New Jersey’s Pine Barrens this week has now ben fully contained, authorities said Thursday.

The blaze in Manchester, near Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, forced the evacuation of around 170 homes late Tuesday, with police and fire officials going door-to-door to ask people to take temporary shelter at a nearby high school.

Firefighters were confronted by 200-foot (60-meter) flames as they battled the blaze, which rained down embers. Helicopters filled large containers with water from a nearby lake Wednesday and dropped it on the flames.

No one was injured and no homes were damaged, The cause remains under investigation.

Forest fires are a common occurrence in the Pine Barrens, a 1.1 million-acre state and federally protected reserve about halfway between Philadelphia to the west and the Atlantic coast to the east.

Dry, windy conditions similar to those in New Jersey have sparked fires in other states this week.

A wildfire that has burned 100 acres in south-central Wisconsin and forced evacuations has been contained, state officials said Thursday.

The fire began Wednesday in the town of Necedah in Juneau County, about 90 mile (145 kilometers) northwest of Madison, and forced about a dozen people to evacuate, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. Emergency workers also evacuated several structures in the fire’s path.

DNR officials said no one was injured but residents remained evacuated as of Thursday morning and there was no timeframe for their return.

Meanwhile, another Wisconsin fire along the edge of Fort McCoy that broke out Wednesday has forced about 15 people in Jackson County to evacuate and another 40 to 50 people in Monroe County to evacuate. Another 13 people were evacuated from an assisted living facility. That fire has consumed about 2,800 acres and was about 50% contained as of Thursday morning.

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Massive New Jersey Pine Barrens fire now fully contained