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Two Brush Fires Burning in New Jersey


Two wildfires are burning around the state, sending black smoke into the sunny spring sky.

 

Smoke from Raritan Center brush fire as seen from the Garden State Parkway near Route 1
Smoke from Raritan Center brush fire as seen from the Garden State Parkway near Route 1 (Toniann Antonelli, Townsquare Media NJ)

Columns of smoke began rising from a 250-acre grassy area near Raritan Center in Edison around 11 a.m. Thursday morning according to a tweet from News 12 New Jersey.

State Forest Fire Service official Stephen Maurer says that by 4 p.m., the fire was 95 percent contained and he expected it to be completely surrounded by Thursday night.

State Forest Fire Warden Bill Edwards says that  no buildings were under a serious threat largely because it was hemmed in by the Raritan River and a marshy area.

Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac tells NBC 4 New York that FedEx, which has a facility in Raritan Center, was moving its trucks away from the area. There is also a hotel and daycare facility in the industrial, business and retail center located along the New Jersey Turnpike near exit #10.

According to Edwards the fire has the potential to grow larger but that the nearby Raritan River and water-filled ditches on the property are likely to stop the fire from becoming much of a threat to buildings.

Edwards says the wetlands mean firefighters cannot drive around in the area. A helicopter is being used to douse the flames.

NBC News 4 New York says flames are as high as 25-feet in the air. Smoke can be smelled in Staten Island. The smoke can be seen as far as away as an observation tower in Lakewood tweets the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

A second fire burned in Jackson along Cassville Road that was caused by fallen power lines that knocked out power to several thousand customers for a time in Howell and Jackson.

The National Weather Service warned of an enhanced risk of wildfire spreading today because of low humidity and winds gusting out of the southwest.

MORE COVERAGE:

Joe Cutter and the Associated Press contributed to this report


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