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Fire rages in the New Jersey Pinelands
by Rattle at 6:14 pm EDT, Jun 5, 2002

A forest fire burned out of control near a New Jersey state park yesterday, engulfing a house, damaging nine others, and shutting a 24-mile stretch of the Garden State Parkway in Ocean County near Toms River.

By nightfall, state forest fire officials said they did not have the blaze contained but had stopped its forward progress. They were "getting the upper hand on it," they said.

Firefighters planned to set backfires - controlled fires that burn away the brush that could fuel the larger blaze - around the perimeter to contain the main fire. They said they expected the fire to consume between 1,500 and 1,600 acres.

This made for a fun weekend. Its been a few days now, but most of the county still has a burnt pine smell to it. Caused a lot of havoc with the roads.

There was a fire in the early 90's that was much worse.. This one only shut down the Parkway. That one shutdown the Parkway and RT9, the only north/south thrufares in the area. Total and complete chaos.

The area is still very dry, so I expect this will probably happen again before the summer is over.

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