What’s That Smell? Wind Shifts Smoke Plume From 12,000 Acre Fire Across Ocean County

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Plumes from Mullica Hill fire seen as far south as North Wildwood on Monday.

TOMS RIVER, NJ – Police across southern and central Ocean County today have reported calls from concerned residents regarding a heavy smoke smell and haze. This comes as the 12,000-acre Mullica Township fire within Wharton State Forest continues to burn.

In Stafford Township, the department’s dispatch center has been receiving calls for a strong smell of smoke in different sections of town.

“Please know that we are aware of the odor, which appears to be traveling to our town from the wildfire that firefighters are currently battling in Wharton State Forest,” the department said.

The smell is coming from a fire some 30 miles west of Ocean County, and as of this morning, over 12,000 acres of Pine Barrens forest have been burned.

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service says it is making considerable progress fighting the fire now that the winds that fed the fire on Sunday have died down. But a 5 mph easterly wind is now moving that plume across much of Ocean County after battering Atlantic County on Monday.