11:25 AM PDT, June 21, 2022
The Garden State’s largest fire in 15 years was found Sunday in a remote section of Wharton State Forest and by Monday night it had spread to 12,000 acres, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, however officials “have ruled out likely natural causes,” Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn Latourette said Monday.
“I think it’s important to reflect on the fact that the majority of our forest fires are human-caused,” he said.
“Illegal campfires and fires that aren’t fully extinguished continue to pose a great risk,” Latourette added. “It’s important to recognize that because it places us within our power to avoid circumstances like this.”
The fire is projected to reach 15,000 acres despite 70% of if it being contained as of Monday night, according to ABC News.
Officials said the fire should be fully contained.
No one has been hurt or perished since the fire has been discovered, according to NJ.Com.
Officials are hoping that rain, which is expected on Tuesday, can help contain some of the flames.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said rain could be “a huge boost.” Murphy also said it appears there is “no threat to lives or private property.”