Lightning strikes sparked two recent New Jersey wildfires, officials say

Lightning strikes from a pair of June thunderstorms are being blamed for sparking two forest fires in Burlington County, officials announced Tuesday. 

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service said the extremely rare phenomenon started the Acorn Hill wildfire in the Woodland Township area on June 16, and the Flatiron forest fire in Medford on June 3. 

While both wildfires were started by lightning strikes, fire investigators say the spread in different ways. Each wildfire consumed over 200 acres of woodland.

Investigators found the Acorn Hill wildfire started through what's known as a "holdover fire" where a fire burns inside a lightning-struck tree for several days before it ignites other vegetation. The Flatiron forest fire sparked almost immediately after a passing thunderstorm. 

Wildfires caused by lightning strikes, according to the forest fire service, account for 1% of wildfires in the state.