The Mullica River Fire that started Sunday morning in New Jersey’s Wharton State Forest could become the state’s largest in the last 15 years. Chief Gregory McLaughlin of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service said a direct attack was not effective because it is in a very remote area with difficult access so firefighters backed off to implement an indirect attack. They are conducting burning operations out ahead of the fire to remove the fuel, fighting fire with fire, so that as the fire spreads to the freshly burned areas it will stop.
There are 18 structures threatened, including several campgrounds as well as blueberry and cranberry farms. The blaze is burning in four townships, Washington, Shamong, Hammonton, and Mullica. It is four miles northeast of Hammonton, east of Highway 206.
At 3:45 p.m. on Monday fire officials said it had burned about 11,000 acres.
NJ Environmental Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said the Mullica River Fire was not caused by lightning, it was human caused.