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Firefighters Work To Contain Blazes Raging Across South Jersey Pinelands

(Smoke rises in the distance near a forest fire command post set up in Shamong, NJ.  Photo by David Madden)

(Smoke rises in the distance near a forest fire command post set up in Shamong, NJ. Photo by David Madden)

David Madden David Madden
David Madden is a Philadelphia native with virtually a lifetime of...
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By David Madden

SHAMONG, N.J. (CBS) — At least five major forest fires in central and southern New Jersey have taken out 2,800 acres of woodland since Wednesday.

And one blaze continues to scorch some 250 acres of the Wharton State Forest in rural Burlington County (see related story).

 

(The forest fire command post set up in Shamong, NJ.  Photo by David Madden)

(The forest fire command post set up in Shamong, NJ. Photo by David Madden)

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April is one of the roughest times of the year for state forest fire crews.  Between dry conditions and the wind, it’s a challenge for them.

Local fire warden Tom Gerber says this particular blaze is far from the beaten path, so no homes are threatened.

“A lot of it is roadless — there are no good roads to access,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “Some of the areas that are adjacent to it haven’t burned since the 1930s.”

He says they’re attacking this fire from the air — using aircraft that are able to drop 600 gallons of water at a time — and the ground, and he adds that some natural barriers in the area will help in the containment effort, as long as the wind doesn’t pick up.

And  a little rain would go a long way to help as well, firefighters note.

 

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