This story originally appeared on 6ABC.
Dozens of firefighters from across South Jersey are working to contain a massive wildfire at Bass River State Forest in Little Egg Harbor Township.
Fire crews have settled controlled burns to help contain the blaze and save at least 100 homes that are at risk along Stage Road and Route 9.
It was first spotted around 4 p.m. Sunday.
Rob Gill, with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, told Action News the fire has consumed roughly 900 acres of land that splits between Ocean and Burlington counties.
The fire is zero percent contained, said Gill.
Sections of Route 9 have been forced to be shut down. There are voluntary evacuations for residents in the area, with a shelter set up at Pinelands Regional High School.
Chopper 6 was overhead Sunday night as firefighters from across the state worked to get the blaze under control.
Officials report about 70 firefighters with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service from the central and southern parts of the state battled to get the fire under control. About 150 structural firefighters from 39 municipal fire departments worked to protect the surrounding homes.
Gill said this fire is occurring at the backend of fire season.
“It varies depending on the piece of ground where a fire can happen,” he said. “It’ll vary from a quarter acre to a larger fire like this one. It all depends on the ground, fuel type, terrain. There are several factors that go into what determines the size of a fire.”
Firefighters have begun conducting what they call “burnout operations,” where they set smaller, controlled fires in hopes of protecting homes along Stage Road and the Offshore Manor Development along Route 9 in Little Egg Harbor.
WILDFIRE: About 900 acres are burning near Ballinger Creek. At 8pm, officials reported fire was zero percent contained. No injuries reported. Structure protection is in place to protect any threatened homes. Cause still under investigation @6abc https://t.co/AHJ0xro1H8 pic.twitter.com/7KLgzCPG5S
— Jaclyn Lee (@JaclynLeeTV) May 17, 2021
“Which is the process where we eliminate the forest fuel on the ground from a secured area. In this situation, it’s a hardtop road all the way around the fire,” Gill said.
Residents are being asked to avoid the area.
No injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.