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July 21, 2017

Parts of Wharton Forest on way to Shore closed by smoke and fire

Trails and campgrounds shut due to smoke and ash

Natural Disasters Wildfires
Wharton State Forest smoke Photo courtesy/NJ DEP FOREST FIRE SERVICE

The smoke and ash from the fire in Wharton State Forest could be seen late last week drifting for miles. Campgrounds and trails were closed.

That smell on the way to the shore? Probably drifting smoke from a forest fire in Wharton State Forest, a popular weekend destination with many closures due to drifting ash and smoke.

The fire began Thursday about two miles north of the Batsto Village historic site, in a remote heavily forested area.

The fire has burned around 2,800 acres and is about 60 percent contained.

Batsto Village and its visitors center are closed. Trails, including the Batona Trail, also are closed.

Closed campgrounds include Mullica River, Lower Forge, Hawkins Bridge and Godfrey Bridge. They are not in the fire's path, but are being affected by smoke and ash.

The cause is not yet known.

Anyone with reservations or concerns can call the office at (609) 561-3262 for more information.