Wildfire and National Guard

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The Pop-Tart Whisperer
Feb 19, 2007
Southern New Jersey
Wouldn't let me in the News section to post so I'm gonna place it here. Today's news about a wildfire in NJ.

Crews worry about wind spreading New Jersey fire; National Guard says military flare likely cause.
The Associated PressPublished: May 16, 2007
Crews worry about wind spreading New Jersey fire; National Guard says military flare likely cause - International Herald Tribune

TRENTON, New Jersey: Firefighters in New Jersey kept an anxious eye on the weather Wednesday as they battled a massive wildfire that had consumed about 20 square miles (51.80 square kilometers) of brush after a military jet dropped a flare on a bombing range.

Stong wind gusts sent walls of flames up to 100 feet (30.5 meters) high racing toward senior citizen communities, where elderly residents grabbed their pets and ran.

"It was as close to hell on Earth as you'll ever experience in your life," said Bert Plante, a spokesman for the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

No deaths or injuries had been attributed to the fire, but it forced the evacuation of about 2,500 homes, and about a dozen homes were either damaged or destroyed.

Lt. Col. James Garcia, a spokesman for the New Jersey Air National Guard, said the fire was believed to have been started Tuesday afternoon with a flare dropped from an F-16 fighter jet.

Warren Grove Gunnery Range was involved when a National Guard jet accidentally strafed an elementary school with large-caliber rounds in 2004 during a training exercise.

Showers and thunderstorms were forecast for Wednesday, but so were 20 mph (32 kph) winds that could spread the flames.

Two other major fires were also burning in the United States on Wednesday.

Along the Florida-Georgia state line, firefighters were making progress against a blaze that had charred 390 square miles (1010 sq. kilometers) across the two states and forced the evacuation of more than 700 homes.

Smoke drifted hundreds of miles into Atlanta and its suburbs and central North Carolina.

Another fire has burned 117 square miles (303 square kilometers) of Minnesota and Canada, and many cabins and smaller structures have been destroyed.

But two days of wet, cool weather have helped firefighters get the fire 55 percent contained on the U.S. side and 20 percent contained in Canada. In northern Minnesota, residents chased from their homes were told they would be allowed to return for brief visits starting Thursday.

The people evacuated in southern New Jersey included residents of several retirement communities, patients from a nursing home and students from an outdoor survival school. Nearly 700 people were in shelters Wednesday morning, said Drew Lieb of the New Jersey State Police.
I was wondering if the rains took that out. They say it is 70% contained today, up from 10% yesterday. Guess it helped a lot.

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