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NJ Forest Fire Risk Remains Low, But Can Change Quickly [AUDIO]

Even though this week has been hot and dry, the forest fire risk remains low in New Jersey for now.

Wharton State Forest
Flickr User Owls Flight Photography

June was a very rainy month in New Jersey and all of that moisture is helping hold back the hand of the forest fire risk on the floor of the woods.

Assistant State Forest Fire Warden John Reith says the humidity values have been relatively low.

“Yesterday they were in the 30’s, today they are forecast in the 40’s, and that’s not really high for this time of the year. The drying, things are drying out, there’s no doubt about that.”

The news for forest fire risks is good and bad. Obviously we are not in a drought yet, but the extreme heat makes things dry out very quickly.

“Right now, we have no restrictions on any campfires, agricultural burning […] anything along those lines.”

Reith says the sandy soil in Central and South Jersey means that the vegetation that thrives in the forests in those areas dries out quickly, so conditions can rapidly change.

He also says that typically in the summer we don’t have as many intense fires, because normally you’ll get thunderstorms, you’ll have higher humidity, the foliage is all green, shades the forest floor and helps delay the drying because of that foliage.

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