🔥The fire is causing 6+ mile southbound delays on the southbound Parkway

🔥A lack of rain makes the underbrush dry

🔥The NJ Forest Fire Service doesn't expect the fire to grow

BERKLEY — A brush fire in the median of the Garden State Parkway in Ocean County slowed the start of the Tuesday afternoon commute.

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service said the fire started after 2 p.m. near Exit 77 in Berkeley and closed the left lane in each direction. Video shows a large amount of smoke filling the air around the exit.

The lane closures caused a delay of at least five miles southbound back to Toms River as drivers slowed down to watch firefighting efforts. It also caused heavy delays on Route 9 as drivers exited the Parkway to avoid delays.

The fire is not expected to grow very large in size, according to the Forest Fire Service.

ALSO READ: Man with shotgun dies during Woodbridge traffic stop


Dry underbrush

Thanks to a sea breeze the temperature in Berkeley is around 80 degrees in the are of the fire, according to New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

"That sea breeze is gusting over 20 mph at times though, which could make firefighting operations difficult. That wind is easterly, which would blow the smoke and flames away from residential areas and over Double Trouble State Park," Zarrow said. "While Ocean County is not being monitored for drought at this time, the underbrush must be very dry too given our recent lack of rain."

This is a breaking story. Check back for additional details.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

New additions to NJ DOT's 2024 collection of humorous safety messages

The NJ DOT continued to use a series of humorous seasonal safety messages on its' over 200 electronic signs around New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

NJ Street Fairs are back! See the latest 2024 schedule

All New Jersey street fairs are listed in date order. New locations may be added as the year progresses so please check back often for updates.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

NJ 'perv' teachers, coaches busted in two-year span

There were a number of educators, coaches and private teachers facing criminal charges for sexual offenses around New Jersey, arrested between 2022 and 2023.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM