UPDATE 1: Tuesday, April 11, 2023, 2055 hours PDT

Incident Summary

MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ — A wildfire ignited Tuesday around 1629 hours PDT (1929 hours EDT) along Route 539 and Horicon Avenue, which is about 40 miles east of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

(Left) Photo Credit | Ocean County Sheriff 911

TFR in Effect

A TFR (temporary flight restriction) over the fire is in effect, which means no personal, UAV or any other drone aircraft can be flown over, around, or near the fly. #NoDronesInFireZones

Fire Operations

Fire operations include Forest Fire Service crews conducting a backfiring operation to aid in containment.

Firefighters will remain on the scene until it has been contained, under control, and put out.

It appears they will be fighting this massive firestorm all night. Please pray for their safety and families as they are evacuated from the area.

Size Up

It is currently at 500 acres and at a 10% containment status.  It is burning on federal, state, and private property.

Fire Behavior

The fire behavior is very active with wind-driven runs and spreading towards the Lakehurst area.

Heavy smoke smell in the air, which is reaching some areas including Whitesville.


About 25 homes are under threat. Structure protection is in effect by local volunteer fire departments from Ocean County.

Mandatory Evacuations

Mandatory evacuations are in effect for those who live between Division Street and Myrtle in Lakehurst.

Shelter Open

A shelter has been set up for those evacuated to go to Manchester High School.


Unified Command with NJ Forest Fire Service and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst FD.

Command Post and Staging area have been set up near Eisenhower Circle (Dollar General).

Mutual Aid

Incident Cooperators include the NJ Forest Fire Service, Pine Beach Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, Ocean County Sheriff 911, Lakehurst Naval Air Station, and New Egypt Volunteer Fire Company No. 1.

Photo Credit | Wall Fire Company #1 (right)


CLOSED:  County Road 539 between Route 70, along with Long Swamp Road, and in both directions from State Hwy 70 to Horicon Avenue.

Historical Fires

Several other major fires have occurred in the area with one earlier this morning (0555 hours PDT) on Route 571 in Manchester near the middle school due to a traffic accident. The third fire occurred at 1027 hours PDT in the area of Alameda and Royal in Brick Township. The fire could be seen from Silverton.

An elevated risk of wildfire spread this afternoon and early this evening warning was issued by several area Fire Departments this morning, alerting residents and those alike that there is similar conditions as a RED FLAG WARNING we have here in other parts of the United States. “

Photo Credit (below) | Plumsted Township Fire District #1

A combination of low relative humidity, gusty westerly winds, and dry fine fuels will lead to an elevated risk for fire spread with any potential fire starting this afternoon across New Jersey, southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the eastern shores of Maryland. Minimum relative humidity values this afternoon will range from 20 to 25 percent across the region. Winds will be

sustained from 10 to 15 mph with gusts around 20 to 25 mph, highest around mid to late afternoon. Fine fuel moisture may be somewhat of a limiting factor, mainly across southern New Jersey, due to rainfall last Friday.

Residents are urged to exercise caution if handling any potential ignition source, including machinery, cigarettes, and matches. Be sure to properly discard all smoking materials. Any dry grasses, dead leaves, and other tree litter that ignite will have the potential to spread fire quickly.”

Emergency Alerts

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Photo Courtesy | Ocean County Sheriff 911

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