New Jersey forest fire that was sparked by fireworks is 75% contained

TABERNACLE, N.J. (AP) — A forest fire that has burned 6.3 square miles (about 16.3 square kilometers) in the New Jersey Pinelands was 75% contained as of midmorning Monday, officials said.

Its status remained basically unchanged since Sunday night.

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service said the blaze in Wharton State Forest was not threatening any structures.

It was burning in a section of the forest in Tabernacle Township near the Batona Campground and Apple Pie Hill.

On Sunday, the service said the blaze had been touched off by the use of fireworks in the forest but would not say how it had reached that determination.

The fire was reported by a spotter from a nearby fire observation tower shortly after 9 a.m. Friday.

Crews were using backfire operations to fight the fire, burning areas ahead of the main fire in a bid to stop the flames from spreading. Several roads and trails were closed.

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