Morristown firefighters called about that smoky smell…from Pine Barrens

Morristown firefighters were called downtown to check out hazy smoke on Monday morning that turned out to be from a huge brush fire in the Pine Barrens.

CLEAN MACHINE: Fire trucks will be on display at April 15 open house of the Morristown Fire Department. Photo by Berit Ollestad

The Morristown Fire Department responded to reports of hazy smoke that turned out to be from a South Jersey wildfire. File photo by Berit Ollestad

Quirks in the weather prevented dissipation of smoke from the 1,500-acre fire in a remote section of Wharton State Forest; as a result, parts of Manhattan, 90 miles to the north, smelled like a campfire, according to news accounts.

Firefighters in Morristown responded to a call on DeHart Street around 10 am, said Fire Chief Robert Flanagan.

“People saw hazy smoke in the area. We checked the entire area,” the chief said.  Around that time, Morris County officials alerted the department about the woodland blaze in Burlington County, he said.

Many places across northern New Jersey reported smelling or seeing the smoke, according to news reports.

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service told The Star-Ledger that the fire was spotted on Sunday afternoon from the Batsto Fire Tower.  By Monday afternoon, fire officials expected to have the blaze under control.

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