Wind-blown Wildfire in Little Egg Harbor, NJ, Consumes 418 Acres
LITTLE EGG HARBOR — Firefighters continued monitoring the Stafford Forge Wildlife Management Area overnight after a wildfire was contained late Tuesday.
The Governors Branch wildfire was first spotted by the Cedar Bridge fire tower at 11:45 AM, according to NJ Forest Fire Service Chief Greg McLaughlin. Northwest winds up to 40 MPH helped fuel the fire, which spread rapidly along Route 539 in a remote area off Munion Field Road.
Because of the gusty winds, firefighters successfully implemented "indirect tactics" to contain the fire and created a backfire to keep it from spreading south, according to Section Forest Fire Warden John Earlin Jr.
Threatened structures safe
The fire consumed 418 acres and was declared 100% contained early Tuesday evening. No evacuations were needed and no property was damaged.
Sixteen structures on North Shore Drive and South Shore Drive in Little Egg Harbor were untouched, according to McLaughlin.
Route 539 west of the Garden State Parkway between Forge Road and Warren Grove Spur Road has been reopened.
No firefighters were injured.
WPG Chief Meteorologist Zarrow said it will remain breezy Wednesday, which will push any remaining smoke toward Little Egg Harbor Township, Tuckerton, and the southern end of Long Beach Island.
"Residents of those areas might smell it, and there could be a prominent haze in the air.
One of NJ's worst wildfires in the same area
The area was the site of one of New Jersey’s most destructive wildfires, the Spring Hill fire on March 31, 2019.
The fire burned 11,638 acres of pineland in Burlington County. Strong winds made it difficult for firefighters to contain, and roadways such as Route 72 west and Route 539 in Barnegat Township were forced to close. Smoke from the fire was visible from Atlantic City to Sandy Hook.