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Blame the Pilot for Jersey Fire: An Air Force accident investigation board has concluded that a New Jersey Air National Guard F-16 pilot did spark the May 15 fire that set off a blaze in the Warren Grove Training Range and ultimately burned more than 17,000 acres, destroyed four homes, and damaged other facilities and vehicles. One of two Air Guard pilots from the 177th Fighter Wing at Atlantic City on a “show of force” training run over the range “deployed multiple self-protection flares below the WGR minimum release altitude,” according to the AIB executive summary. At that altitude, the flares were still burning when they struck the ground and ignited the fires. The pilot had failed to alert the range control officer, who had “failed to convey” to the pilots that there was a restriction on the use of flares because of “environmental factors.” The fire, added to a string of other incidents, prompted New Jersey politicians to meet with the Air Force.