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ANG F-16 Starts Fire: The New Jersey Air National Guard has said that a flare dropped by one of its F-16 fighters may have caused a fire that had consumed some 12,000 acres as of mid-day Wednesday and forced evacuation of around 2,500 homes in southern New Jersey. The F-16 from the 177th Fighter Wing at Atlantic City was flying a routine training mission over the Warren Grove Gunnery Range on May 15 around 2 p.m. The fire spread rapidly because of high winds and dry conditions. Late on Wednesday, the Air Force issued a statement saying it had created a claims processing center for those affected by the New Jersey fire, so we guess the F-16 flare is the culprit. The center is open today at the Tuckerton New Jersey Army National Guard Armory, and offcials say it will remain open as long as needed. (Street address and phone number here.)