October 23, 2008

New Jersey Wildfire Fears Easing

A New Jersey fire service official says concerns that wildfire in the Wharton State Forest would spread are easing thanks to improving conditions.

Stephen Maurer, a New Jersey Forest Fire Service assistant fire warden, said firefighting efforts had begun to stem the blaze's spread and it was nearly 40 percent contained, The (Newark) New Jersey Star-Ledger said Thursday.

"The fire activity has decreased substantially. Most of the fire has been burning on the ground because it's been so dry," he said of the blaze that has consumed 1,800 acres.

"There are going to be between 50 to 70 men and about 15 trucks out there tonight doing what they can to contain the fire lines," he added.

Meanwhile, about 350 firefighters battled a fast-moving wildfire spreading across a wide area of Los Angeles Thursday.

Covering about 45 aces, the wildfire was burning near I-405 and the Getty Center, both of which were closed temporarily, the Los Angeles Fire Department said on its Web site.

The Salt Lake Tribune said firefighters reported making gains on a wildfire that had consumed some 450 acres in and near Moab, Utah.