Wharton State Forest fire: Crews battling wildfire in Washington, Shamong, Hammonton and Mullica townships

WASHINGTON TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) — The New Jersey Forest Fire Service is continuing its efforts to contain a wildfire in the Wharton State Forest in Burlington County.

Officials say the fire has reached 7,200 acres in size, stretching through Washington, Shamong, Hammonton and Mullica townships. The blaze is 45% contained, the Forest Fire Service said Monday morning.

Forest Fire Service crews will continue conducting backfiring operations throughout the day to aid in containment, officials say.

There are also several road closures in place:

  • Route 206 – from Chew Road to Stokes Road
  • Route 542 – from Green Bank Road to Columbia Road

Batsto Village and all associated hiking and mountain bike trails are closed to visitors.

The Atsion Recreation Area is also closed.

The Mullica River Campground, Lower Forde Campground, Mullica River Trail and boat launches along the Mullica River are closed from the Atsion Recreation Area to Batsto Village.

These closures will remain in effect until further notice.

Pinelands Adventures has suspended kayak and canoe trips.

The Paradise Lakes Campground has been evacuated.

Officials say 18 structures are threatened.

“Structure protection is in place and provided by local volunteer fire departments from Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean counties, we thank them for their assistance,” the Forest Fire Service said.

There are no reported injuries.

The Forest Fire Service reminds drone operators to not fly in the fire zone: “No drones in fire zone- if you fly, we can’t!”

Officials say the wildfire is being fueled by dry and breezy conditions.

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