Wharton fire

A New Jersey Forest Fire Service helicopter takes a bucket of water from Atsion Lake to fight a wildfire Sunday in Shamong Township, Burlington County.

A wildfire broke out Sunday in Wharton State Forest in Shamong Township, Burlington County, and it exceeded 100 acres by evening, officials said.

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service’s Section B10 homepage said the Phillips Bog Wildfire was along Quaker Bridge Road, near Route 206, about two miles east of the Atsion ranger station. Section B1 crews were working, and the initial size-up indicated the fire could be held to about 50 acres, NJFFS said.

At about 6:45 p.m., the fire was at 113 acres and about 75 percent contained, Section B10 said on Twitter.

NJFFS aircraft were taking water Sunday afternoon from Atsion Lake to fight the fire.

The smoke plume was visible from as far away as the Walt Whitman Bridge over the Delaware River, readers reported.

The Rutgers University "Fire Danger Monitoring Console" online showed low relative humidity and light winds Sunday, with no precipitation expected - conditions conducive to fire spread.

With the continued lack of rain, the risk for brush fires across South Jersey remains elevated. Red flag warnings were in effect over the weekend, due to the dry conditions, brisk winds and low relative humidity.

Lighter winds across South Jersey on Monday may briefly lower the risk for rapidly spreading brush fires, but winds will increase again Tuesday.

Since the dry weather will persist through at least Thursday, additional red flag warnings may be needed to highlight the high fire danger.

Press Meteorologist Dan Skeldon contributed to this report.

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