Crews battle massive brush fire near highway in West Milford, New Jersey

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, April 13, 2023
Crews battle massive brush fire in West Milford, wildfire in Ocean County
CeFaan Kim is in West Milford, New Jersey where crews were battling a massive brush fire near Route 23. He also has the latest on a separate wildfire in Manchester.

WEST MILFORD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Crews are battling a large brush fire near a highway in West Milford, New Jersey on Wednesday.

The brush fire started near the rest stop off Route 23 North and Spring Lake Road in the woods, according to West Milford Mayor Michele Dale.

Newscopter 7 was above the fire and captured just how far that smoke spread, along with choppers dousing flames with buckets of water.

The fire has reached 140 acres in size and is 0% contained, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

They say crews have begun a backfiring operation to help contain it near Echo Lake.

The only homes currently in a potential risk area are located on Blakely Lane, but a team from West Milford volunteer fire companies are on site for structural protection, according to the mayor. All horses have been evacuated from Echo Lake Stables.

Local police say no residents or neighborhoods have been impacted, and no evacuation orders have been issued at this time.

Residents are being advised to keep their windows closed to avoid smoke that may be traveling through the air.

Zachary Turner says it was like his neighborhood was covered in fog. Every breath was filled with smoke.

"I live right on Butler over here about a mile and a half away and just opening my window, I was able to smell it and looking around, you could see the sky was getting cloudier," he said.

The evening commute home was a lot slower than normal because of the fire.

Northbound Route 23 (Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike) is closed between Germantown Road and Union Valley Road, while Echo Lake Road is closed between Route 23 and Macopin Road.

It comes as crews continue to battle a massive forest fire spanning across 3,859 acres in Manchester Township, Ocean County.

Crews are battling a massive 3,859-acre forest fire in Manchester Township, Ocean County.

Firefighters worked overnight Tuesday and into the day on Wednesday to get the Ocean County fire 60% contained.

No injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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