More than 800 acres of forest burning in Pine Barrens

A scene from a wildfire along the border of New Jersey's Woodland and Manchester townships in Sept. 2015. (NJFFS photo)

A scene from a wildfire along the border of New Jersey's Woodland and Manchester townships in Sept. 2015. (NJFFS photo)

Updated: 12:25 p.m.

State officials say a forest fire in a remote area within the New Jersey Pine Barrens has burned hundreds of acres.

The blaze broke out early Sunday afternoon near Oswego Lake in Burlington County’s Washington Township. The area is about five miles west of the Ocean County border.

Environmental officials say shifting winds have hampered the efforts of firefighters. But it was about 90 percent contained by late Monday morning, and environmental officials say the fire should eventually burn itself out. No injuries were reported and no buildings had been damaged as of Monday morning.

Roughly 50 firefighters from various agencies are battling the fire from the ground and air. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Penn State Forest covers 3,366 acres, with Lake Oswego encompassing an additional 90.

Ocean County residents reported smoke drifting into the area on Sunday.

It’s the largest blaze of the young forest fire season.

“It is extremely important that the public understand that a moment of carelessness can cause a wildfire that puts lives and homes at risk,” State Firewarden Gregory S. McLaughlin said in a recent news release.

“Although March was rainy and snowy, conditions change rapidly. This time of year, warmer and windy weather dries out forests quickly, which creates conditions more prone to rapid growth of a wildfire, particularly in the Pinelands.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.