Jackson Twp. wildfire now 70% contained, 15 structures threatened

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service says crews have made substantial progress in containing a wildfire that continues to burn in Ocean County.

The blaze broke out on Tuesday afternoon in the area of East Commodore Boulevard and Cedar Swamp Road in Jackson Township.

As of Wednesday morning, the Forest Fire Service says the wildfire has grown to 70 acres and is 70% contained.

Officials say 15 structures are being threatened at this time, but there are no mandatory evacuations in place.

The following road closures are in place:

  • Exit 21 on Interstate 195 is closed
  • East Commodore Boulevard is closed between Cedar Swamp Road and Jackson Mills Road
  • Cedar Swamp Road is closed between East Commodore Road and Jackson Mills Road
  • Jackson Mills Road is closed between East Commodore Road and Cedar Swamp Road

News helicopters were overhead Tuesday as smoke billowed from a wooded area of the township.

No injuries have been reported and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

Roughly 75 firefighters responded to battle the terrain in Jackson Township, using bulldozers to dig trenches around the fire, hoping to contain it.

It’s been a busy season for fire crews in New Jersey.

“We’ve had nine major wildfires this season. Major wildfires are fires we consider to be 100 acres or larger. In a typical year, a busy year, we would normally see four or five,” said Chief Greg McLaughlin with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

McLaughlin says they are rotating crews from around the state to help, but it’s still taking a toll.

“We’re definitely showing fatigue. People are tired. People are weary,” he said.

Meanwhile, an air quality alert is in effect for several counties in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey due to wildfires burning in Canada.

According to our 6abc Data Journalism team, Tuesday’s air quality index reached 110, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups. That number was up significantly from Monday’s recorded 40 AQI.

There are also Stage 2 and Stage 3 fire restrictions in place statewide until further notice due to the dry conditions in New Jersey.


NORTHERN NJ – Stage 3 Fire Restrictions

COUNTIES: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Warren, Hopewell Township in Mercer County, Union, Hunterdon, Middlesex (north of Raritan River)

CENTRAL NJ – Stage 3 Fire Restrictions

COUNTIES: Burlington, Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex (south of the Raritan River), Mercer County except Hopewell Township

SOUTHERN NJ – Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

COUNTIES: Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem

Stage 3 Fire Restrictions:

-All fires in wooded areas are prohibited unless contained in an elevated stove using only propane, natural gas, gas, or electricity.

-No charcoal fires are allowed.

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions:

-All fires in wooded areas will be prohibited unless in an elevated prepared fireplace, elevated charcoal grill or stove using electricity or a liquid or gas fuel.

-An elevated prepared fireplace must meet the following criteria: constructed of steel, stone, brick or concrete, elevated at least one foot above the ground and surrounded by a mineral soil radius no less than ten feet.

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