A large forest fire in Beachwood  is one of five around the state that firefighters are battling on Thursday night

Fire from a new fire in Berkeley Township on Thursday evening
Fire from a new fire in Berkeley Township on Thursday evening as seen from Toms River. (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ

A fire that broke out late Thursday morning along Pinewald Road near Berkeley Avenue in Beachwood is 30% contained and gusty winds are making it hard to control. That fire burned 307 acres and led to 621 homes being evacuated in Berkeley Township.

New Jersey Forest Fire Service and fire officials say 45 fire engines, 59 police officers, an airplane, 2 helicopters and three fire bulldozers were pressed into service to help battle this blaze.

A second fire broke out late Thursday afternoon in Berkeley Township on Pinewald-Keswick Road at Dover Road near the Berkeley Township police headquarters.Fires also broke out today in Manchester, Lacey Township and in Franklin Township in Gloucester County. Firefighters will work through the night to get the fires out.

The Bayville and The River branches of the Ocean County Library are available as temporary shelters for those evacuated from the fire but not as an overnight facility.

New Jersey Forest Fire Forest officials say they will be conducting controlled burns Thursday night in an attempt to box in the fire. They are also hoping for significant rain to put out any hot spots and stop flare ups. Berkeley Police say that residents who live on the south side of Northern Blvd and who live on Grand Central Blvd south of the Northern Blvd intersection. A decision on the rest of the neighborhood will be made after 8 p.m. Thursday night and posted on the Berkeley Township website.

Toms River Intermediate South was evacuated early Thursday afternoon as a precaution and students taken bus to the Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River North High School. A command center was set up at the school as well.

A brush fire in Toms River broke out on Fischer Boulevard at Waters Edge Drive that burned two sheds in back of a home on Pumpshire Avenue. . A helicopter from the NJFFS dropped water on the fire according to their website. Fischer Boulevard was closed for a time while the fire was put out.



A Red Flagt Warning remains effect for the entire state as winds continue to gust out of the northwest at 30 MPH and the relative humidity stays low. Combined with dry materials, brush fires will spread quickly once they start.

Outdoor fires and agricultural fires are banned Thursday for the entire state according to the the NJ Forest Service. All agricultural burning permits are suspended through Friday.

A fire continues to burn in the Edward Bevans Wildlife and Fish Management Refuge in Downe Township in Cumberland County according to the Press of Atlantic City. “It’s going to take a while (to put out)” New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection Lary Hajna told the newspaper. “It’s a fairly significant sized fire.”

The wind will help make the flames higher. Section Fire Warden Tom Gerber tells 6 ABC the wind "has a ladder-like effect. It'll make these flame heights 50 to 60 feet high flame heights.... The conditions are as bad as they get."


Aerial photo of the forest fire inside Bevans Wildlife Management Area in Downe Township
Aerial photo of the forest fire inside Bevans Wildlife Management Area in Downe Township (Edward Carter Jr, Downstown Aero)

The blaze will burn 1,500 acres when it is finally contained predicts the NJ Forest Fire Service on its website and is 55 percent contained as of early Thursday morning. The NJFFS says 3 air tankers were used to help douse the flames. Over 50 firefighters were also on the ground reports 6 ABC.

Mayor Robert Campbell told the Press of Atlantic City the area of the fire is home to several sand plants and is not residential.

Several other fires broke out around the state on Wednesday including one in the Runyon Watershed that burned 3-5 acres in Old Bridge and was still being monitored by the NJFFC. A brush fire sparked up in Brick off Cedar Bridge Avenue on Wednesday according to Jersey Shore Hurricane News.



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