HAMMONTON — Firefighters continue to work for a third day at containing a forest fire inside Wharton State Forest. The fire that has left a smoky smell in the air around the Jersey Shore 30 to 40 miles away.

The fire that started Thursday has burned through 3,000 acres in a remote area of the forest near Batsto, a village in Washington Township. Crews were on all night working to contain more of the fire which was at 70 percent containment on Friday night.

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Ocean County Sheriff Mike Matronardy said that smoke continues to waft over southern areas of the county.

"Crews will continue patrolling and holding containment lines as the fire progresses through unburned interior pockets of fuel. The unburned pockets are well away from the fire containment lines," Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Bob Geist said in a statement.

Several campgrounds were closed on Friday because of smoke and ash, including Mullica River Camp, Lower Forge Camp, Hawkins Bridge Camp and Godfrey Bridge Camp.

Geist said the fire is the largest in Wharton State Forest since the Atsion fire of August 2007.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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