BARNEGAT — A brush fire in Ocean County that  closed down a portion of Route 539 is 80% contained.

The fire in the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area along the road, which goes through Manchester, Whiting and Barnegat was first spotted around 10 a.m. on Sunday by the Cedar Bridge fire tower,  according to Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Bob Considine.

"Backfiring operations were completed by dark," Considine said on Sunday night. "Two engines will monitor the fire overnight. The fire will be re-examined in the morning and mop up and/or burn out will be completed."

The fire was fueled by pine and scrub oak forest and was pushed by west - northwest winds, according to Considine, who said if the fire remains within the expected target containment area, it will reach approximately 570 acres.

Route 539 was closed between Route 72 and Pasadena Road, according to Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardi, but was reopened around 4 p.m.

Considine said 42 State Forest Fire Service personnel were deployed using 12 brush trucks, one water tender, one tractor and plow, and a helicopter for observation. No property was damaged or structures threatened, according to Considine. No one was evacuated from the area.

Considine said there was a controlled burn inside the Greenwood forest on Saturday but it was not in the same area as Sunday's fire.

The fire remains under investigation.

Dan Zarrow contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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