1,000-Acre Forest Fire Burns Near Route 72 in South Jersey
A fire has burned around 1,000 acres of woods and could impact the ride home from the Jersey Shore.Flames broke out early Monday afternoon in the Brendan T. Byrne Forest along Route 72 near the Clayton Sand Pit off Clay Mine Road according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. Two bulldozers were creating trenches to stop the flames from spreading and at least one air tanker was dropping water according to the NJFFC, which expects to hold the fine at 1,000 acres. No structures are in the immediate area of the fire.
Route 72 is a main route for many to head home from Long Beach Island.
No significant rainfall in several weeks has created tinder dry conditions and a high fire danger which means this fire is spread quickly.
State climatologist at Rutgers Dave Robinson warns that more of New Jersey could be considered to be in a drought if conditions continue to be warm and dry. The National Weather Service has Middlesex, Union, Essex, Bergen and part of Somerset county in a moderate drought.
"We could see parts of Jersey with significant enough deficits of rainfall, soil moisture and stream flow, that we might get to this moderate drought categorization," Robinson said.
Many of the firefighters helping with this fire just returned from helping fight forest fires in Washington State, Montana and Oregon according to NorthJersey.com.
David Matthau contributed to this report.