Barnegat Blaze Knocked Down, Pinelands Burn On [AUDIO/VIDEO]
After nearly six hours of struggle against wind-driven flames, state forest fire crews have a blaze in Barnegat 100% contained as of 4:00 PM.
Firefighters in Burlington County, meanwhile, hope to have the upper hand against a blaze that has raced through about 1300 acres of Pinelands by tonight.
The Barnegat blaze devoured about 20 acres north of Barnegat Boulevard and west of Route 9. It was reported to township police a little after 11:00 AM. The acreage is partly under township ownership and partly under county ownership. Fifteen fire trucks from seven area fire companies as well as both ground and air resources from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service (NJFFS) responded to the scene.
Barnegat Police Lieutenant Keith Germain told us that the fire was not close enough to homes to warrant evacuations but fire trucks were stationed at the Atlantic Heights development as well as the Patriot’s Cove development as a precaution. The Barnegat section of the Rail Trail between Rosehill Road and the Green Briar entrance to the trail in Waretown was closed, as was Barnegat Boulevard. Twenty cyclists and walkers were asked to leave the trail by Barnegat Police at the start of the fire.
The park and the road were reopened by 4:00 PM.
NJFFS crews expect to remain on scene for several hours for the next several hours including to conduct controlled burning of the remaining fuel in the area.
Tom Mongelli talks to Barnegat Police Lieutenant Keith Germain
PREVIOUS: Forest Fires In The Pinelands
Firefighters have contained about 75 percent of a 1,000-acre fire in Tabernacle and Woodland that broke out Monday. Division Fire Warden Greg McLaughlin describes it as “definitely suspicious in nature.” McLaughlin says officials should know the cause within a day or two.
There’s no report of injuries or property damage.
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Tom Mongelli, Patch of Barnegat-Ocean Acres & The Associated Press contributed to this report.