New Jersey firefighters battle 2,500-acre forest fire

LAKEHURST, N.J. (AP) — A massive forest fire in New Jersey’s million-acre pine barrens smoldered on Wednesday as firefighters battled blaze.

The fire started late Tuesday and is burning across some 2,500 acres (about 1,000 hectares); it’s just 10% contained, according to WPVI-TV.

The state forest fire service is expected to provide updates later Wednesday. Dozens of homes were ordered evacuated, but police in Lakehurst said on social media that it was safe for residents to return home.

No injuries were reported, and officials are looking into what caused the fire.

The blaze is located near Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a military installation nestled in the state’s pinelands about halfway between Philadelphia to the west and the Atlantic coast to the east.

Dry, warm weather is forecast in the coming days, with the next chance for rain not expected until the weekend. The National Weather Service said there’s an elevated risk of wildfire spread because of the low humidity, gusty winds and dried-out fuel.

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