South Jersey Forest Fire Burns 1,000 Acres

October 23, 2008

Authorities say a forest fire burning in a section of the New Jersey Pinelands has destroyed more than 1,000 acres, but don’t think it’s in danger of burning any buildings.

The blaze began at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, and had destroyed 1,000 acres as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, said Michael Drake, a spokesman for the state Forest Fire Service.

Draked added that no structures are threatened by the fire, which is burning in a remote section of the Pinelands where Camden, Burlington and Atlantic counties converge.

The blaze began in Waterford Township in Camden County, but quickly spread with 25 mph winds, with gusts reaching 30 mph.

Two injuries were reported. A fire police officer was hit by a car while directing traffic but declined medical attention, and a firefighter was released from a hospital after experiencing chest pains.

About 150 firefighters were using pumper trucks, helicopters, a firefighting plane, and several bulldozers to battle the blaze.

Conditions in the area are very dry; the region has not experienced a heavy rain storm in several weeks.

Firefighters may get an assist from a large storm expected to move through New Jersey over the weekend, though.

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