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HomeUSNorth Jersey Wildfire Grows, 5 Structures Evacuated, Others Threatened, Officials Say

North Jersey Wildfire Grows, 5 Structures Evacuated, Others Threatened, Officials Say

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As of 11 p.m., the blaze had reached 720-acres in size and containment has been reduced to 35% contained, compared to 40% Thursday morning, the service said.

It was unclear what structures had been evacuated, but nine homes were also threatened along with one commercial building, fire officials said. Local volunteer fire companies were posted to protect the structures.

Echo Lake Road remained closed between Route 23 and Macopin Road, which was also now closed at Highlander Drive, authorities said.

Crews were continuing the same firefighting methods as earlier to contain the blaze, which included helicopters dropping water on it, the service said.

West Milford wildfire, April 13, 2022
Fire officials on the scene of a wildfire in the area of Route 23 and Echo Lake Road in West Milford on Thursday, April 13, 2023Brianna Kudisch/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The wildfire is the first in West Milford since a 2009 blaze consumed 75 acres, Assistant Division Forest Fire Warden Eric Weber said earlier.

The service said it’s prepared for wildfires around this time of year, with April being the peak season.

“In part, this is because the deciduous vegetation still is in leaf off and the sun is shining longer,” Greg McLaughlin, chief of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, said earlier. “Longer days, warmer days, the fuel, vegetation, leaves, pine needles on the floor dry out quickly, there’s a lot of air movement…Once a fire gets started, that fire is susceptible to spreading very quickly.

Source: NJ

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