On Fri, Apr 30 the NJ Forest Fire Service responded to a smoke reported on the Warren Grove Bombing Range. Driven by E and NE winds gusting over 30 mph the fire rapidly left federal property and burned into Wharton and Bass River State Forests. The fire was contained at approx. 0730 on May 1 at 11,285 acres. Evacuations were required from several homes, and five campgrounds that were filling up with people expecting a quiet weekend in the woods.
Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, and no damage to improved property. The NJFFS responded with 20 Brush trucks, 4 Water Tenders, 3 Tractor-plow units, 3 Fixed Wing Air Tankers, 1 type 2 Helicopter, and 1 observation helicopter. In addition, there were 26 volunteer fire departments from 3 counties, and 8 volunteer first aid squads represented.
An historical note: the fire perimeter included the area where four firefighters died when their brush truck was overrun by a major fire on the Bass River Forest in 1977.