Wildfires continue to burn in NJ after 3 days — fire risk elevated for state
🔥 The Kenouse wildfire in West Milford has not been contained
🔥 The Jimmy's Waterhole wildfire in Ocean County is 75% contained
🔥 Conditions are ideal through Friday for quick spread of wildfire
A large wildfire continues to burn in Passaic County while firefighters struggled to contain one in Ocean County as the state remains under an enhanced risk of wildfire spread on Thursday.
The Kenouse wildfire in West Milford consumed 140 acres as of Thursday morning and has not yet been contained, according to the Forest Fire Service. The fire started Wednesday afternoon.
Ten structures are threatened and Echo Lake Road is closed between Route 23 and Macopin Road. A section of Route 23 that was closed reopened Thursday morning.
The Jimmy’s Waterhole fire in Manchester, which is the largest in the state, is 75% contained and is still active with 3,859 acres burned. This fire started Tuesday.
No road closures are in effect and the command post has been closed. Greg McLaughlin, chief of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service said smoke from the fire will be visible for “days.”
Another day of increased wildfire risk
Winds will be slightly less gusty Thursday but conditions are still dry and conducive to fires with no rainfall in the past 10 days across the state. Conditions, however, should improve during the weekend, New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
"Everybody thinks of April as a 'showery' month, but it's actually New Jersey's 4th driest month of the year on average. And we're coming off a drier-than-normal February and March. With very little snowfall to moisten the ground. All that combines to raise the risk of wildfire spread," Zarrow said.
The risk of fire will decrease by the weekend with an increase in humidity and some "healthy rain" over the weekend, according to Zarrow.
Most of far North Jersey is considered "abnormally dry," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Bergen, Cape May, Cumberland, Hudson, Morris, Sussex, Warren and Salem counties plus parts of Atlantic, Burlington and Essex counties are considered abnormally dry by the U.S. Drought Monitor