WEST MILFORD, N.J. (PIX11) – After firefighters catch a tough break Thursday night, the Kanouse wildfire is getting more under control

As of Friday evening, fire officials said the 975-acre fire was 65% contained, with the expectation that it will be 100% contained sometime overnight. 

“We did run into some environmental conditions late [Thursday] that kind of changed the game a little bit for us,” said John Cecil of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. 

Officials said embers from the top of the trees spread east of Echo Lake, starting new fires. While the fire is mostly contained, officials said dead ash trees, killed by the invasive emerald ash borer, have fueled the flames, like lighting fire to paper.

Some firefighters worked more than 24 consecutive hours.

“Last night was pretty serious,” said Eric Webber of the NJ Forest Fire Service. “Probably some of the worst fire behavior we’ve seen in northern New Jersey in a while.”

At the peak of the battle, officials said about 125 firefighters were on the ground.

“They are working really hard,” said Webber. “This is hands-on dirty work.”

Community members have come in to donate food and water and, in some cases, offer up showers inside their homes.

“The local residents have been wonderful here,” said Chief Greg McLaughlin of the NJ Forest Fire Service. “They’ve been dropping off water, food. They’ve even reached out to me to offer their homes if we want a shower or we want to get a rest and sleep.”