Crews battle brush fires across New Jersey

TABERNACLE - High winds are fueling about 21 brush fires across New Jersey, authorities say.

One large brush fire in Burlington County erupted earlier this morning. The flames first broke out on the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Joint Base in Burlington County, on the base's training ranges. The fire moved eastward, where previous controlled burns had been conducted.

Another large fire started to burn Sunday. That fire started in Tabernacle Township and spread to Woodland Township. So far, about 1,000 acres have been affected.

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service says the Tabernacle fire is considered to be "suspicious in nature" since there were no downed power lines or lightning in the area. The forest fire service orchestrated a controlled burn, setting fire to nearby brush in effort to get rid of fuel for the fire.

Large flames have been knocked down, but the fire won't be considered to be completely under control until all hot spots are eliminated.

Last week, two fires burned 400 acres in Winslow Township, about 20 miles southwest of today's blaze. Officials say those were likely set deliberately.

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