Crews battle large wildfire in the Pine Barrens

     A wildfire in Wharton State Forest in April 2016. (Photo: John H. Rieth/NJFFS)

    A wildfire in Wharton State Forest in April 2016. (Photo: John H. Rieth/NJFFS)

    Update: The wildfire was contained at 300 acres late Saturday evening, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. 

    Firefighters are battling a large wildfire that was discovered Saturday morning near Wharton State Forest in Burlington County.

    The blaze, which was spotted from a nearby fire tower shortly before 10 a.m., is within a wooded area behind the Antler Gun Club on Bards Bridge Road in Shamong, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

    As of early Saturday afternoon, the fire was consuming about 150 woodland acres, and officials expect it to grow to around 300 acres. The fire service reports “some containment” as crews conduct burn-out operations. 

    The service earlier dispatched a helicopter for observation and a command post trailer. Local firefighters are assisting state crews in battling the blaze.

    Smoke was reportedly drifting toward the nearby Route 206 earlier. None of the 30 structures in the area were in danger as of Saturday afternoon, and no evacuations were ordered. 

    The cause isn’t immediately known.

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