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Wharton State Forest wildfire now 100% contained after growing to 510 acres, officials say

Wharton State Forest County Line Wildfire in South Jersey is 100% contained
Wharton State Forest County Line Wildfire in South Jersey is 100% contained 00:18

SHAMONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) -- A wildfire that broke out in New Jersey's Wharton State Forest on Wednesday has grown to 510 acres but is now 100% contained, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

The first major wildfire of the season, called the County Line Wildfire, was first reported Wednesday morning but is believed to have started sometime Tuesday night. The affected area of the forest is in Waterford Township in Camden County and Shamong Township overnight. 

The fire service said no buildings were threatened by the fire and no one has been injured. The Goshen Campground has been evacuated and is closed, and the Burnt Mill Trail, Goshen Pond Trail and Sleeper Creek Trail are all also closed, the agency said.

Jackson Road has reopened, but drivers are urged to avoid the area and not use any trails in the state forest.

The cause of the wildfire is still under investigation.

A photo of the County Line Wildfire released Wednesday by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. Since this photo was taken, the fire has been 100% contained and firefighters on scene are working to hold the fire in the containment area. New Jersey Forest Fire Service

What does 100% containment mean?

The NJFFS said Wednesday it was working on several strong containment lines to control the massive fire.

In other words, they create a perimeter of control lines around the fire that limits how much of the forest can burn. Full containment means those lines are now set up.

"Our containment lines are out ahead of the fire, so once our containment lines are secure, that allows us to start our backfiring process," Fire Warden Jay Wyatt said.

Smoke still rising from NJ wildfire site

While firefighters continue "mopping up" the wildfire or working in the containment zone, there will still be smoke in the area. Firefighters are going to stay on the scene until there's significant rainfall that can ensure the public is safe.

"Motorists traveling in the area should remain cautious of smoke, firefighters and fire vehicles that may be working on the roadsides," NJFFS said on social media.

This image from Chopper 3 on Wednesday shows the County Line Wildfire burning in Wharton State Forest between Shamong and Waterford townships. Chopper 3/CBS News Philadelphia

Conditions were favorable for Wharton State Forest fire

Fire danger was high in New Jersey on Wednesday and remained high on Thursday, a tracker on the NJFFS's website shows.

Conditions like dry ground and shifting winds can contribute to fire danger. There's a north/northeast breeze ranging from 5-10 mph Thursday, according to CBS News Philadelphia's meteorologists.

Hear from a resident impacted by wildfire

Juneann Smith lives nearby and has called Atco, New Jersey, home for nearly 50 years. She's used to forest fire season but thought the recent rainy weather would've helped prevent it.

"That's amazing really! Because I think we've probably had rain like four days in a row," Smith said. 

Helicopter captures wildfire burning in New Jersey's Wharton State Forest 08:48
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