🔥 The Kenouse wildfire in West Milford is 40% contained

🔥 The Jimmy's Waterhole wildfire in Ocean County is 100% contained

🔥 Conditions are ideal through Friday for quick spread of wildfire

A large wildfire continues to burn in Passaic County while firefighters successfully contained one in Ocean County as the state remains under an enhanced risk of wildfire spread on Thursday.

The Kenouse wildfire in West Milford consumed 400 acres as of 10 a.m. Thursday morning and was 40% contained, according to the Forest Fire Service. 130 firefighters were on the ground along with an air tanker Thursday morning.

The fire started Wednesday afternoon around 3 p.m.

Ten structures were initially threatened and Echo Lake Road is closed between Route 23 and Macopin Road. A section of Route 23 that was closed reopened Thursday morning.

Firefighters evacuated a horse farm threatened by fire in the overnight hours of Thursday.

A volunteer firefighter suffered a fatal heart attack at home after fighting another fire in Wantage (Sussex) Wednesday, according to Forest Fire Service officials. The firefighter's identity was not disclosed.

The Jimmy’s Waterhole fire in Manchester, which is the largest in the state was declared to be 100% contained 3,859 acres burned. This fire started Tuesday.

Greg McLaughlin, chief of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service said smoke from the fire will be visible for several hours Thursday.

Location of the Kenouse Wildfire in West Milford
Location of the Kenouse Wildfire in West Milford (Canva)

Another day of increased wildfire risk

Winds will be slightly less gusty Thursday but conditions are still dry and conducive to fires with no rainfall in the past 10 days across the state. Conditions, however, should improve during the weekend, New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.

"Everybody thinks of April as a 'showery' month, but it's actually New Jersey's 4th driest month of the year on average. And we're coming off a drier-than-normal February and March. With very little snowfall to moisten the ground. All that combines to raise the risk of wildfire spread," Zarrow said.

The risk of fire will decrease by the weekend with an increase in humidity and some "healthy rain" over the weekend, according to Zarrow.

Most of far North Jersey is considered "abnormally dry," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Bergen, Cape May, Cumberland, Hudson, Morris, Sussex, Warren and Salem counties plus parts of Atlantic, Burlington and Essex counties are considered abnormally dry by the U.S. Drought Monitor

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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