BRICK, N.J. (CBS/AP) — A large brush fire in New Jersey on Sunday afternoon shut down a portion of the Garden State Parkway, backed up traffic and forced some residents to evacuate homes and stores, as several smaller blazes burned across the state on the dry, windy day, according to authorities. New Jersey’s Forest Fire Service says the fire was about 162 acres in size, as of 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Two commercial buildings are damaged, according to officials.
The Garden State Parkway has reopened to traffic. Route 70 is closed between New Hampshire Avenue and Chambers Bridge Road.
Videos from the scene near the airport in Lakewood showed clouds of thick, dark smoke and raging flames igniting trees and brush. Twitter user Dan Lebovits shared this video of smoke from the fire.
— Dan Lebovits (@danleboNJ) March 14, 2021
The National Weather Service in Mount Holly warned that there were “dangerous fire weather conditions” across the state Sunday, as dry and windy conditions challenged crews fighting the blazes. Most of New Jersey was placed under a fire warning set to continue into Monday with humidity levels recorded at about 20% in the Lakewood area and winds gusting near 40 miles per hour (64 kph), officials said.
The Forest Fire Service said it was responding to the Lakewood blaze and urged residents to avoid the area.
No injuries were immediately reported.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)