Garden State Parkway in Brick closed in both directions due to brush fire

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UPDATE: Garden State Parkway reopens after brush fire closed lanes near Exit 91 for 12 hours

BRICK - The Garden State Parkway was closed in both directions near Exit 91 on Wednesday night due what the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office said is a brush fire.

Traffic was being turned around by New Jersey State Police at official use U-turns in the median.

As of 9:30 p.m., the Garden State Parkway remained closed in both directions, more than three hours since the fire was first discovered.

The blaze appeared to be coming from underneath the parkway. Emergency crews on the scene had stretched a five-inch hose across the parkway and were calling for assistance to open manholes on the parkway.

Gov. Phil Murphy was monitoring the situation.

“I’ve been briefed on the brush fire near Exit 91 of the @GSParkway,” Murphy tweeted. “Please avoid the area as poor road visibility is resulting (in) large traffic backups.”

Heavy traffic is reported throughout northern Ocean County and southern Monmouth County, as motorists were turned into the opposite lanes of direction and were then left on their own to find alternate routes to their destinations.

An Asbury Park Press photographer on the scene said the smoke had the odor of an electrical fire, although authorities are still calling it a brush fire.

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Authorities had discussed evacuating the nearby Evergreen Woods Park Association, but ultimately decided that it was not necessary to do so at this time.

All motorists are directed to avoid the area until further notice. Traffic on the parkway was at a standstill for up to eight miles in some sections.

This is a developing story. Stay with app.com for updates.

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Erik Larsen: 732-682-9359 or elarsen@gannettnj.com

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Brush fire Brick NJ: Garden State Parkway closed