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Crews battle NJ forest fire that has burned hundreds of acres and forced evacuations

Charred forest as a result of backfires, set by firefighters just off of Chatsworth Road, to prevent the spread of the 'Tea Time Hill' Wildfire near Wharton State Forest in New Jersey on Friday, July 5, 2024. (Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)
Charred forest as a result of backfires, set by firefighters just off of Chatsworth Road, to prevent the spread of the ‘Tea Time Hill’ Wildfire near Wharton State Forest in New Jersey on Friday, July 5, 2024. (Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)
UPDATED:

TABERNACLE, N.J. — A fast-moving forest fire has burned several hundred acres in southern New Jersey.

The blaze in the Wharton State Forest was reported early Friday. Officials believe it began in the area of the Batona Campground in Tabernacle, which was evacuated as a precaution.

No injuries have been reported, but authorities said a nearby hunting club and a home could be threatened by the flames.

Several roads in the area have been closed as numerous firefighters work to contain the blaze. The forest fire service said crews were using a backfire operation to help combat the blaze, which involves burning areas ahead of the main fire in a bid to stop the flames from spreading.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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