LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. — Firefighters in New Jersey continued to battle a large wildfire Monday morning that burned through the night in a state park along the Jersey Shore, officials said.
The fire was first spotted around 4 p.m. Sunday at the Bass River State Forest in Little Egg Harbor Township, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.
By Monday morning, the fire had burned over 1,000 acres of land, according to the Ocean County’s Sheriff’s Office.
However the NJ Forest Fire Service said the blaze burned through 617 acres of land.
Approximately 30 structures were at risk and the Pinelands Middle School is a designated shelter, authorities said, down from the 100 structures at risk earlier. The number of Evacuation was voluntary and additional firefighters were at the scene to protect property, the NJ Forest Fire Service said.
Parts of Route 9 were still closed Monday morning due to prevalent smoke.
Local police were advising drivers to avoid areas south of Stage Road, west of Otis Bog road and Carolyn drive, NJ.com reported.
No injuries had been reported as of Monday morning and the cause of the blaze was not known.
The massive fire comes just two months after a forest fire in the same New Jersey county burned at least 167 acres of land and destroyed dozens of homes in the Lakewood area.
Ocean County officials in March said they believed that fire had been intentionally set. No arrests had been made at the time of the announcement.