One of two forest fires that burned hundreds of acres in Ocean County was intentionally set, authorities said.

Just before 6 p.m. on April 24, someone started a fire on the side of an unimproved road with a pile of dry leaves and flammable debris, according to the Ashbury Park Press.

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That fires burned 220 acres.

Earlier that day, improperly discarded smoking materials accidentally started a larger fire that burned 307 acres.

Five structures were damaged in that fire, including two sheds that burned to the ground and three homes which had siding melt from intense heat, officials said.

Hundreds of firefighters aided the state Forest Fire Service in battling the blazes that used more than 50 pieces of apparatus and hundreds of volunteers from area fire companies.

Steve Hughes

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