Wildfires Spread at the Peak of NJ Forest Fire Season (Live Updates)

by Peter Candia
NJ forest fire

UPDATE 6/2/23 – As the wildfire season comes to a close in New Jersey, some areas are still being affected by the natural phenomena. The extended period could be a sign of longer seasons to come in the future, as climate change continues to sculpt nature and what comes from it. 

According to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, a forest fire in Bass River State Forest, known as the Allen Road fire, ignited on Wednesday May 31, continuing through Thursday and into Friday. As of now, it has expanded to cover an area of 5,000 acres, with approximately 50% of the fire contained.

The ongoing dry conditions have been contributing to the fire’s growth by providing ample fuel for the flames. Consequently, the area has been heavily affected by smoke as a result of the burning.

Timberline Campground—a lakeside campsite near the heart of the fire—has been evacuated. Around 40 seasonal residents and visitors have left the site due to the ongoing fire.

UPDATE 4/14/23 – Since publishing, firefighters have managed to contain 75% of the fire. All roads to re-open soon. 

MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ— Tuesday evening, a fire, now referred to as Jimmy’s Waterhole, broke out in Manchester Twp., NJ. The fire, which set ablaze around 50 miles east of Philadelphia, grew to over 3,800 acres and was an estimated 50 percent contained by Wednesday morning. 

Wednesday’s weather conditions are not the most favorable for firefighters attempting to control the blaze. The slightly breezy and dry air has a tendency to exacerbate wild fires rather than control it. Still, firefighters’ quick response has allowed for the fire to be controlled quickly—and there is an increase in containment with every hour. Residents in over one hundred buildings in Manchester and nearby Lakehurst were ordered to evacuate by the state early on Wednesday but were soon after permitted to return home.

NJ forest fireThe wild fire has burned a mix of federal, state and private property within the forest. This comes just ten days after the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection released a statement warning New Jerseyans of the start of the NJ forest fire season. 

Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette stated: ““The continuing impacts of climate change mean our state is experiencing more severe weather conditions, storms, wind and drought that can result in a longer wildfire season, which is why it is more important than ever that the public exercise caution and take steps to help protect their homes and property.” LaTourette also warns of carbon emissions that come as a byproduct of forest fires in the statement.

Almost the entirety of forest fires in New Jersey are caused by humans. Whether it is a mismanaged bonfire or a cooking accident, it is crucial always to practice proper fire safety. Still, around 7,000 acres of New Jersey forest are destroyed each year due to forest fires. 

The heart of the NJ forest fire season is here and it is important to stay educated and informed about preventative actions and methods moving forward.

About the Author/s

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Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

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