Firefighters in Ocean County continued to battle a wildfire Wednesday that grew overnight to 2,500 acres and is threatening at least 75 structures.
The fire broke out Tuesday evening in the area of Route 539, Route 70 and Horicon Avenue in Manchester and forced a few dozen evacuations on federal, state and private property, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service said.
The blaze was only 10% contained as of 1:30 a.m. Officials have not provided an additional update, though overhead video from 6abc.com Wednesday morning showed a wide path of smoke rising to the sky.
No injuries have been reported.
More warm, dry and breezy conditions are in the forecast for Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.
Route 539 remained closed in the early morning from Route 70 to Long Swamp Road. Route 70 was shut down from Lakehurst Circle to Beckerville West Road. Horicon Avenue was closed, along with Beckerville East Road and Beckerville West Road, authorities said.
In nearby Lakehurst, residents who live on Division Street who evnear Alameda Drive in Brick and another 5-acre wildfire burned brush in Howell, fire officials said.
Controlled burns or backfiring — when a fire is intentionally set along the inner edge of a fire line to consume the fuel in the path of the blaze or change its direction — is ongoing, officials said.
The Manchester fire was one of multiple wildfires reported in New Jersey on Tuesday.
Earlier, a roughly 10-acre wildfire burned through a wooded area near Alameda Drive in Brick and another 5-acre wildfire burned brush in Howell, fire officials told NJ Advance Media.
The Howell fire started as a result of a homeowner burning wood in a fire pit in a backyard that spread after a large gust of wind carried embers to a wooded area, according to a statement from Howell police.
Firefighters in Hudson County scrambled Tuesday afternoon to control a brush fire in Jersey City that jumped both the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and the Newark Bay-Hudson County Turnpike Extension Tuesday afternoon.
Staff writer Chris Sheldon contributed to this report.
Jeff Goldman may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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