By Kimberly Davis

LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey fire crews have made significant progress battling a 600-acre forest fire in Little Egg Harbor. The fire, burning in the Bass River State Forest, is now 75% contained on Monday night.

Tonight, residents are breathing a sigh of relief after the fire came dangerously close to their homes.

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The smoke can still be seen for miles even though fire crews worked around the clock to put out this massive blaze. Residents say they’re grateful for the crews’ hard work.

“They’ve been running up and down that dirt road, checking on the fire all day,” a Little Egg Harbor Township resident said.

On Sunday afternoon, a wildfire broke out inside a large forested area that was difficult to access, with 100 structures in danger, including homes.

“My daughters were super scared. They had some tears, they are afraid our house was going to catch on fire and they were very reassuring,” a resident said.

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This resident did not want to be on camera but was compelled to share how comforting the fire crews were during a very uncertain time late Sunday afternoon.

“We are extremely grateful, very proud. Proud of the DEP’s forest firefighters as well as all the local firefighters that came throughout the county. I believe even Burlington County firefighters came,” the resident said.

She says they were not asked to evacuate but they did for the evening out of an abundance of caution.

As of 7:30 p.m. Monday, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service has reached 75% containment of a 617-acre wildfire in areas of Bass River State Forest in Burlington County and Little Egg Harbor Township in Ocean County.

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“A situation that could have been horrible has turned out to be a pretty wonderful story I think,” the resident said.

Kimberly Davis