Crews Battling Wildfire Along Mullica River in South Jersey’s Wharton State Forest

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,146
592
Atco, NJ
Check out this ABC report. Very frightening but it looks like 206 is holding as a good firebreak. Dutchtown residents are surrounded in this video and must be shaking in their boots.

What I don't understand is that the winds were hard northwest all weekend buy it seems that the fire advanced to the west ??
When I first saw it last night I thought it was right along the Mullica. It must have started closer to 206 and got wider as it went down. Once it crosses he sleeper there’s no line of defense except West Mills and that only has one way in and out. They are likely writing off large tracks to keep everyone safe.
 
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smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,146
592
Atco, NJ
I found this on FB. I thought it might have crossed the Mullica. Note the containment size
 

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dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,414
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camden county
That to me is the most wild area in the pines back there. Pretty hard to access. Fire will allow that to be beautiful woods for a while. Bad timing though because of nesting animals on land, eggs in nest and shedding snakes in logs. I think these fires devastate box turtles. I will be exploring after this fire on my electric bike.
 

enormiss

Explorer
Aug 18, 2015
367
181
Atco NJ
Driving east on 30 when you got to the top of the hill at Franklin ave Wawa in Berlin you could see the huge smoke plume. I would have bet it was much closer, on the other side of 206, but thankfully not.
 
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Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
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Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
As much as I hate Facebook I went back on the other day and the NJ Forest Fire Service has been providing updates. This is the latest:

WILDFIRE UPDATE: Wharton State Forest – Mullica River Fire
The New Jersey Forest Fire Service continues to make progress on containing a wildfire in Wharton State Forest - Washington, Shamong, Hammonton & Mullica Townships - which has reached 11,000 acres in size and is 50% contained.
Forest Fire Service crews have continued conducting backfiring operations throughout the day to aid in containment.
ROAD CLOSURES
⚠️
Route 206 – from Chew Road to Atsion Road
⚠️
Route 542 – from Green Bank Road to Columbia Road
Batsto Village and all associated hiking and mountain bike trails are closed to visitors. The Atsion Recreation Area is also closed. The Mullica River Campground, Lower Forde Campground, Mullica River Trail and boat launches along the Mullica River are closed from the Atsion Recreation Area to Batsto Village. These closures will remain in effect until further notice. Pinelands Adventures has suspended kayak and canoe trips.
18 structures are threatened. Structure protection is in place and provided by local volunteer fire departments from Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean counties, we thank them for their assistance. There are no reported injuries.
Motorists traveling in the area should remain cautious of smoke, and watch for firefighters and fire vehicles that may be working on nearby roadways.
Please remember, “No Drones in Fire Zones - If YOU fly, WE can't!”
Continue to follow this page for updates.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
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That to me is the most wild area in the pines back there. Pretty hard to access. Fire will allow that to be beautiful woods for a while. Bad timing though because of nesting animals on land, eggs in nest and shedding snakes in logs. I think these fires devastate box turtles. I will be exploring after this fire on my electric bike.

There is much to see and find out there so I will be concentrating my efforts in that area also.
 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,650
710
I camped at Lower Forge over the weekend, as we were leaving via Quaker Bridge Rd three brush trucks and a ranger were rushing in, we knew something was up but had no idea it would be this big in scope. It's a good thing my friend pushed us to leave early in the morning because of a Father Day's family lunch he had to go to our we might have found ourselves stuck at Lower Forge, I'm sure they would have gotten us out of there but probably would have had to leave all our vehicles (parked at a spot off Bulldozed Rd) and gear behind until the fire was put out.

I can tell you that as soon as we woke up on Saturday morning it was high winds all day into the night setting the conditions for the fire.
Did they have fire restrictions posted? I drive by Batona Camp every day and none have been posted, including today.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,414
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camden county
I just drove down chew out to 206 to Richards Road/Columbia and out on the 542. Past Batsto down Batsto Road and then turned around when I get to Washington turnpike. Got lots of cool photos which I’ll post. trying to triangulate exactly where the fire is. They did lots of backfires around batsto and a Washington Turnpike so I guess it’s a good thing that they have Washington Turnpike there. Did cross the Box turtle just on batsto Road and then when I dropped him off on the side of the road I went back and there was a completely cooked box turtle that probably got hit with the backfire. Really is a big fire though there was lots of people out on the side of the road taking pictures from the blueberry Farms in Hammonton.
 

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Ronnie B

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Jun 19, 2022
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Sayreville
Did they have fire restrictions posted? I drive by Batona Camp every day and none have been posted, including today.
Not that I saw. But it's not a heavily used campsite, Friday night we were the only ones there (which was awesome!) and Saturday night it was just us and two other groups, one who left Sunday morning with a fire unattended and still alive, we put it out.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,414
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camden county
I just drove down chew out to 206 to Richards Road/Columbia and out on the 542. Pass Batsto down Batsto Road and then turned around when I get to Washington turnpike. Got lots of cool photos which I’ll post. trying to triangulate exactly where the fire is. They did lots of backfires around batsto and a Washington Turnpike so I guess it’s a good thing that they have Washington Turnpike there. Did cross the Boxturtle just on batsto Road and then when I dropped him off on the side of the road I went back and there was a completely cooked box turtle that probably got hit with the backfire. Really is a big fire though there was lots of people out on the side of the road taking pictures from the blueberry Farms in Hamilton.
Not that I saw. But it's not a heavily used campsite, Friday night we were the only ones there (which was awesome!) and Saturday night it was just us and two other groups, one who left Sunday morning with a fire unattended and still alive, we put it out.
I don’t believe there was any restrictions. Seems like they almost know exactly how it started and it was a coordinated mess up.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,414
145
40
camden county
Back fires lit from Mullica crossing at 542 down to batsto road. Then down batsto road to Washington turnpike and ending at penn swamp road. I just got home but smoke was now moving back across 206. Seemed like the fire was moving from behind Richard’s ave towards 206. Much less smoke at 7:30 vs 5:00 so it seems the fire is maybe dying down a bit.
 

RednekF350

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Feb 20, 2004
4,727
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Pestletown, N.J.
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