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Friday, September 22, 2023
Sept. 22, 2023

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Officials: 5,000-acre wildfire 50% contained; New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway still shut down


BASS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — A long stretch of New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway remained shut down Friday as firefighters worked to contain a 5,000-acre forest fire spewing thick plumes of smoke.

The fire broke out Wednesday night in the Bass River State Forest, along the border of Burlington and Ocean counties in southern New Jersey. It was 50 percent contained and no longer threatening any structures or residential areas as of Friday morning, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service said, though roughly 40 people were evacuated Thursday from a camping area as a precaution, and that site remained shuttered Friday..

Authorities were still working to determine the cause of the wildfire. Another 158-acre blaze burned from Monday night into Tuesday in the White Oaks Wildlife Management Area in Monroe and Franklin townships in Gloucester County, causing no reported injuries or property damage.