Fire burns hundreds of acres at NJ Joint Base
PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP — Firefighters worked all night to contain a fire that burned several hundred acres on a training range at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
The fire was declared to be fully contained as of 9 a.m., according to Matt Ebarb of the Joint Base's Public Affairs Office.
The fire started Wednesday afternoon at a training range on the base in the Browns Mills section of Pemberton Township, resulting in the closures of Browns Mills, Juliustown, and Pointville roads. Ebarb said that the fire was estimated to have burned 1,200 acres but was reduced to 660 acres on Wednesday.
Ebarb said firefighters remained watching for hot spots that could flare up.
The Facebook page further said there were no evacuations, structural damage, or any threat to the community. The Pemberton Township Volunteer Fire Department warned a smoke condition will be present in the air for much of Thursday.
Nearly 100 firefighters from the base's department, state Fire Forest Fire Service, and Burlington County Strike Team were working the fire on the ground and in the air.
Ebarb said the cause of the fire remained under investigation.
The fire came less than a week after a forest fire burned over 11,000 acres in the Penn State Forest in Woodland Township.
Wednesday's fire developed as a Red Flag Warning was in effect on Wednesday. Townsquare New Jersey Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said wind gusts of 40 mph, very dry air, and dry "fuel" on the ground, in the form of brush, combined to create conditions very favorable to the quick spread of fire.
Conditions look better on Thursday, according to Zarrow, with calmer winds and slightly increased humidity. However, the rapid spread of wildfires will remain a concern until we get some substantial rain, which is in the forecast for both Friday and Monday.
Jasmine Rodriguez contributed to this report.
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