Brush Fires Can Affect Dense Communities [AUDIO]
Michael Gallagher, Middlesex County fire marshal, said while his jurisdiction doesn’t have nearly the wooded area that other counties have, Cheesequake State Park and Raritan Center are still two areas that could pose a danger for brush fires.
If a brush fire does occur, Gallagher said Middlesex’s main objective is to protect vulnerable homes and businesses surrounding the flames.
“During the Edison fire, we set up to protect the rail cars,” Gallagher said. “There were some tractor trailers from some businesses we set up and protected from exposure, so no fire catches onto them.”
Though they don’t see many brush fires, Gallagher said all of his crews are trained in the Forest Fire Response Plan, which stresses not hooking up to fire hydrants if at all possible.
“You don’t want to tie up a fire department if the fire is spreading quickly,” Gallagher said. “So we’ll bring in extra engines — we might put an engine between every home, if we have to, in order to protect people’s houses.”
If your home is near any wooded area, even a small amount, Gallagher advises keeping your property clear of debris and brush to prevent flames from spreading.