18:16 GMT24 June 2021
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    On average, some 1,500 wildfires break out in New Jersey and consume an estimated 7,000 acres of land throughout the course of a year, according to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. The height of the Garden State’s wildfire season is seen from March through May.

    Dozens of firefighters in New Jersey have been deployed near the Jersey Shore to combat a raging wildfire that has scorched hundreds of acres after erupting in the Little Egg Harbor Township over the weekend.

    The wildfire was first detected around 4 p.m. local time on Sunday, and had consumed some 70 acres of a forested area with limited accessibility, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. Approximately 100 structures were considered at risk, with local evacuations being considered on a voluntary basis.

    In this photo provided by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, a forest fire burns in Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J., on Sunday, May 16, 2021. ( New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection via AP)
    © AP Photo / New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
    In this photo provided by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, a forest fire burns in Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J., on Sunday, May 16, 2021. ( New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection via AP)

    Although some 16 volunteer forest fire companies and additional assistance from the state were dispersed to the area, the wildfire did manage to grow in size, burning an estimated 617 acres in  the Little Egg Harbor Township and the neighboring Bass River State Forest.

    A Monday update by state officials revealed that the fire was 40% contained, and that the outbreak had not caused any serious injuries or property damages. No fatalities have been reported either.

    A release issued by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service revealed that firefighters had created a “containment area by setting small, controlled fires around the main fire” that effectively helped to establish a “buffer between structures and the main fire.”

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    To date, only 30 structures are believed to be threatened by the wildfire. Officials have warned that smoke will likely remain “visible for some time as the fire smolders for several days.”

    The cause of the fire is still unknown, as investigations into the cause are ongoing.

    New Jersey is no stranger to wildfires. In 2020, wildfires torched roughly 4,800 acres across the state.

    In May 2007, a blaze broke out in southern New Jersey from a flare ignited by a New Jersey Air National Guard F-16 during a training exercise. The fire charred over 18,000 acres and destroyed six homes.

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    Tags:
    F-16, acres, Wildfire, New Jersey
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