The fire, which was reported at 1:30 p.m., began in Lakewood Township and spread to Garden State Parkway due to windy conditions, New Jersey Forest Fire Service spokesperson Maris Gabliks said in a press conference Sunday.
The blaze is currently 50% contained and still threatens several residential, commercial and business structures, Gabliks told reporters.
“We have extremely strong winds with low humidity that aids the fire in growth but also hampers the fire fighters ability to contain and control the fire,” Gabliks told reporters. “No homes were lost at this point but there are homes that were damaged.”
Several hundred people have been evacuated from affected areas and several road closures are currently in place, but no injuries have been reported at this time, Gabliks said. There was a report of a firefighter injured but Gabliks said they have no further information.
A number of commercial buildings and outbuildings were damaged, but officials are unsure of the exact number at this time, he said.
“During the initial operations there were two commercial structures, one and a half story office buildings, that were exposed by fire–we have a total loss of one commercial structure and we have a partial loss of another,” Lakewood Fire Department Fire Chief Jonathan Yahr said at the press conference.
Firefighters are expected to remain in the area battling the blaze throughout the night to fully contain the fire.
The warning and wind advisory remain in effect until 5 p.m. and midnight Monday, respectively.
Officials are unsure how the fire started but it is under investigation, Gabliks said.