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New Jersey Fire Risk Remains High

Coming on the heels of numerous brush fires in the past week, it’s nearing 90 degrees across New Jersey.  The heat along with the lack of rain and slight breeze has resulted in tinderbox conditions across the state.   The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for North Jersey and there is an enhanced fire danger in effect everywhere else. 

Forest Fire 2007 NJ
Flickr User Bonnie Lee and Jeff

“This means we can still have a fire that can burn very intensely and would be very difficult for us to control,” said John Rieth, Assistant Division Forest Fire Warden.   “We’ve gone so far with dry weather, any kind of fire in any kind of vegetation whether it’s marsh or fields or forests, has the potential of taking off and becoming a real challenge.”

“We have our folks out on patrol.  All of our fire trucks are staffed and our towers are manned, so we’re doing our best when it comes to early detection.  The early detection helps to give us a rapid response,” said Rieth.  “The last week or so, it’s been very effective.  We’ve had a lot of fires, but a lot of them were small and we were able to get to them quickly and that’s made a big difference.”

There are camp fire restrictions in effect across the state.   Any lawnmowers or other outdoor equipment should be equipped with spark arrestors.  If you smoke, don’t throw your cigarette butts out the window or on the ground.  “Be aware of your surroundings, know where you are and what you should and shouldn’t be doing,” said Rieith.  “It’s often a matter of common sense.”

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