Wind-swept forest fire closes Route 72

    (Image: Google Maps)

    (Image: Google Maps)

    Firefighters are battling a large wind-swept forest fire in southern New Jersey.

    Officials say the pilot of a state monitoring plane, Delta 10, on a routine flight spotted smoke from the fire on Sunday morning. But it wasn’t immediately clear how the fire started or how long it has been burning.

    The seat of the fire is located near the border of Ocean and Burlington counties south of Route 72 in Woodland Township. Route 72 is closed in both directions at Route 539, where traffic is being diverted north. 

    The blaze is burning near Savoy Boulevard west of the railroad trestle in the area. 

    Numerous firefighters were battling the fire, and at least one air tanker is dropping water. But officials with the state Forest Fire Service say gusty winds were hampering their efforts to contain the blaze.

    The fire had consumed about 200 acres by Sunday afternoon and was expected to keep burning for several hours up to 350 acres. No structures are threatened. 

    No injuries have been reported. 

    The National Weather Service is warning of an enhanced fire danger through the afternoon due to gusty winds and low relative humidity values. 

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    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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