MANCHESTER, NJ - A forest fire was burning on Sunday in Manchester Township, Ocean County that caused a road to close is about 80 percent contained.  Firefighters expect the blaze at Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area in Manchester to burn about 570 acres, or slightly less than a square mile.   

County Road 539 was reopened at about 4 p.m. with smoke advisory signs, according to Bob Considine, spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. 

The fire in the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area along the road, which goes through Manchester, Whiting and Barnegat was first spotted around 10 a.m. on Sunday by the Cedar Bridge fire tower,  according to Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Bob Considine.

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“Backfiring operations were completed by dark,” Considine said on Sunday night. “Two engines will monitor the fire overnight. The fire will be re-examined in the morning and mop up and/or burn out will be completed.”

The fire was fueled by pine and scrub oak forest and was pushed by west – northwest winds, according to Considine, who said if the fire remains within the expected target containment area, it will reach approximately 570 acres.
Route 539 was closed between Route 72 and Pasadena Road, according to Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy, but was reopened around 4 p.m.

Considine said 42 State Forest Fire Service personnel were deployed using 12 brush trucks, one water tender, one tractor and plow, and a helicopter for observation. No property was damaged or structures threatened, according to Considine. No one was evacuated from the area.

The fire is under investigation.  This fire was not related to the controlled burn held on Saturday in a different area of Ocean County.