New Jersey Wildfires Contained

April 11, 2012 Updated: April 13, 2012

After 57 fires started across the state over the weekend, officials have fully contained them and are waiting for the fires to burn themselves out.

The fires are not totally unusual, since it is forest fire season, said Lawrence Ragonese, press director for New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

However, he said the origins of two of the bigger fires, including one that burned approximately 1,000 acres in Tabernacle and Woodland townships, were “suspicious.”

“‘We’re investigating,” Ragonese added. “We think they likely were set, but we don’t have final information on that.”

Fires also burned in Fresh Kills Park and Long Island on Monday and Tuesday, though those have also been largely contained. Dry and humid weather enabled the fires to spread rather quickly before they were contained.

“So far this year we’ve had about 480,” said Ragonese. “But of course we’re hoping we can get some rain, and we’re hoping we can keep that number down.”

High and extreme fire danger levels remain in effect, according to the state’s Forest Fire Service.

Authorities are recommending fire safety precautions such as using ashtrays in vehicles, dousing campfires completely, and teaching children the dangers of fire.

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