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New Jersey wildfire grows to 13,500 acres, now mostly contained

<i>Dave Hernandez/NJ Advance Media/AP</i><br/>The fire is now 85% contained
Dave Hernandez/NJ Advance Media/AP
The fire is now 85% contained

By Melissa Alonso, CNN

A wildfire in southern New Jersey has grown to more than 13,500 acres in size, but is now 85% contained, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service said Tuesday.

The fire in Wharton State Forest had almost doubled in size since Monday morning, when it was reported to have burned 7,200 acres, but the state’s forestry service “continues to make progress on containing” the blaze, the service tweeted Tuesday morning.

Two road closures have been lifted, but hiking trails remain closed, according to the update.

“Motorists traveling in the area should remain cautious of smoke and watch for firefighters and fire vehicles that may be working on nearby roadways. Smoke impacts will remain elevated into the evening hours as winds diminish, and partial cloud cover moves over the area,” fire officials said.

The fire spread across four townships — Washington, Shamong, Hammonton and Mullica, the service said Monday.

Wharton State Forest, located about 20 miles northwest of Atlantic City, is the largest single tract of land within the New Jersey State Park System, according to the state’s park service.

There have been no reported injuries, according to the tweet.

Investigators have ruled out likely natural causes, officials said Monday.

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CNN’s Michelle Watson and Susannah Cullinane contributed to this report.

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