Ocean County Parkway exits reopened after closure due to smoke, fog from wildfire

Update: After burning 5,475-acres, the Allen Road Wildfire in the Bass River State Forest was contained at 1:30 pm Saturday, June 3, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

Six structures were threatened by the fire and about 40 people were evacuated from Timberline Campground, according to the state Forest Fire Service. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The state Forest Fire Service advises the public that Allen Road and Oswego Road continue to be closed, as well as the Batona Trail in the state forest.

The Garden State Parkway has reopened between Exits 38 and 63 in both directions, after a four-hour closure due to smoke from a wildfire and dense fog, officials said.

Though reopened, visibility is still being impacted between mileposts 48 and 52, said Tom Feeney, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. The speed limit remains reduced to 50 mph in that corridor.

Feeney said that only smoke and fog - not the fire - reached the Parkway.

"The smoke seen in Ocean County was a combination of fog that had rolled in, smoke from Allen Road Wildfire in Bass River State Forest, and smoke drifting down from ongoing major wildfires in Canada," said Caryn Shinske, a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Protection.

The 5,000-acre Allen Road Wildfire has been burning through Bass River State Forest since Wednesday. As of Friday morning, the fire has reached 5,000 acres and is 50 percent contained.

The closures were due to dense fog and heavy smoke, the Ocean County Sheriff said in a Facebook post.

No residential structures are threatened at this time, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service said.

Jenna Calderón covers breaking news and cold cases in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Before coming to the Press, she covered The Queen City for Cincinnati Magazine in Ohio. Contact her at 330-590-3903; jcalderon@gannettnj.com

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Garden State Parkway exits reopen after closure due to wildfire in NJ