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    Smoke from major Pine Barrens wildfire drifting over portion of Shore

    File photo from a forest fire in New Jersey in 2014. (Courtesy of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service)

    File photo from a forest fire in New Jersey in 2014. (Courtesy of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service)

    Smoke from a major fire in the Pine Barrens is drifting over the a portion of the Jersey Shore.

    Spotted early Thursday afternoon from a fire tower, the wildfire is currently burning an expansive area in a remote portion of Wharton State Forest north of Batsto Village in Burlington County, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

    As of Friday morning, the service says the blaze, dubbed the “Penn Swamp Wildfire,” is 30% contained and crew are performing a large burn-out operation. Officials expect the fire to increase to near 3,500 acres as a result of the containment operation. 

    The fire is not threatening any structures and no one has been injured, according to the service. But the blaze is impacting several bike and hiking trails, including the Batona Trail.

    Jersey Shore Hurricane News contributors report smoke drifting through Ocean County since early Friday morning under a light and variable wind. 

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