Wildfire flares

NEW JERSEY - A timely rainstorm has helped US firefighters control a wildfire believed to have been started by a military jet that dropped a flare on a bombing range.

NEW JERSEY - A timely rainstorm has helped US firefighters control a wildfire believed to have been started by a military jet that dropped a flare on a bombing range.

The fire had charred about 57km² around the township of Little Egg Harbour, New Jersey, by Wednesday evening when a line of thunderstorms arrived in the region and dumped about a centimetre of rain on it.

By nightfall the blaze was 70percent contained, authorities said.

"We believe we have turned the corner," said Lisa Jackson, commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection.

The fire, which began on Tuesday, sent walls of flames 24m to 30m high racing towards pensioner communities.

The elderly residents of Little Egg Harbour grabbed their pets and fled. - Sapa-AP

X