Effects of major New Jersey forest fire felt all across the state

Posted: Updated:

A major forest fire in the Pinelands consumed over 11,000 acres over the weekend.

Although the fire was down in the southern portion of the state, smoke from the fire reached up to parts of Bergen County – 100 miles away.

News 12 New Jersey Meteorologist Justin Godynick says that two weather issues are the reason for the smoke to travel that far.

Godynick says that one factor was a south wind Sunday morning coupled with a cold front moving in from the west. This caused the smoke to be funneled from the south to the north and along the New Jersey coastline.

RELATED: Investigators: 11,600-acre New Jersey forest fire caused by humans 

The other factor was a weather phenomenon known as inversion – warm air stayed at around 100 feet above the surface, while the colder, denser air stayed closer to the ground. This trapped the smoke, keeping it at a lower altitude, which the southern wind then funneled north.

There are certain health factors to consider when exposed to smoke from burning wood. Wood smoke can lead to the risk of heart disease or cancer.

If a fire like this occurs again – state residents are advised to stay indoors and keep their windows shut. They should also limit the amount of time that they are outdoors and exposed to the smoke.

Fire crews have the forest fire 100 percent contained, but say that they are still monitoring hotspots. The cause was not immediately known, but officials say that they believe that it was started by human activity.

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