Mullica River Fire in New Jersey’s Wharton State Forest could become state’s largest in 15 years

Four miles northeast of Hammonton, NJ

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Mullica River Fire map
Mullica River Fire map showing heat detected by satellites as late as 2:09 p.m. EDT June 20, 2022.

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.

Satellite photo of smoke from the Mullica River Fire in New Jersey
Satellite photo of smoke from the Mullica River Fire in New Jersey at 4:18 p.m. EDT June 20, 2022.

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.

Mullica River Fire in New Jersey
Mullica River Fire in New Jersey, Associated Press.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

4 thoughts on “Mullica River Fire in New Jersey’s Wharton State Forest could become state’s largest in 15 years”

  1. How late does the fire-fighting staff work in a situation like this ?

    Do they get to knock off at 5 ?

    Are they paid overtime if they stay till sunset ?

    Are they paid double or triple time if they work overnight, the “Graveyard shift” ?

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    1. Some may want to know if all Firefighters are insured insurable, and get health benefits.

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  2. No air tankers were called on for this fire, only a Helicopter for observation. Budget problems within NJFFS are the understanding. I was moved out of my camper, a forest fire fighter told me this is a way to have a controlled burn without going through the permit process. Sad !
    He also called it “ a budget fire”.

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  3. I’m going to throw on some acid washed skinny jeans, put on my gold chain, throw on a cubee of hair gel and go “hamma da f__ atta dat thing”.

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