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Wildfire in New Jersey Could Become the State’s Largest in Years

A rapidly progressing wildfire in a remote part of a New Jersey state forest threatened to become the state’s largest fire in 15 years, officials warned Monday.

The blaze, dubbed the Mullica River fire, had set fire to approximately 12,000 acres in Wharton State Forest and was 70 percent under control Monday night. officials said:† The forest, in South Jersey, is about 30 miles northwest of Atlantic City.

No injuries were reported, but 18 buildings, including several farms and campsites, were threatened by the fire, officials said. They also said they ruled out natural causes in their study.

“I think it’s important to think about the fact that most of our wildfires are human-caused,” Shawn LaTourette, New Jersey’s Commissioner for Environmental Protection, said at a news conference Monday. He noted that illegal campfires that are not completely extinguished pose a risk.

Governor Phil Murphy said on Twitter that he was grateful for the crews who worked around the clock to contain the fire.

While weather conditions on Monday were dry and sunny, slightly above average temperatures and increasing humidity were forecast in the whole area for Tuesday† A greater chance of precipitation was expected on Wednesday.

The fire was first discovered Sunday morning, but immediate efforts to suppress the fire were ineffective due to the remote location, which was difficult to access, New Jersey Forest Fire Chief Gregory McLaughlin said at Monday’s news conference.

In the western United States, wildfires are increasing in size and intensity, and wildfire seasons are getting longer. Recent research has suggested that heat and drought related to global warming are the main reasons for the increase in larger and stronger fires.

The peak season for wildfires in New Jersey is from mid-March to May, according to the State Ministry of Environmental Protection† About 7,000 acres of the state’s forests are damaged or destroyed by an average of 1,500 wildfires each year.

The Fire at Warren Grove in May 2007 was one of the largest wildfires in state history, devouring more than 17,000 acres and destroying four homes. That fire was caused by flares dropped by a National Guard pilot.

Aerial photos of the Mullica River fire on Monday showed thick plumes of smoke rising over the forest.

Miles away on the Jersey Shore, some beachgoers told ABC 6, a Philadelphia television station, they saw blurry conditions, with one woman saying it smelled like “overactive barbecue smoke.” At least one man reported seeing ashes on his vehicle.

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