Smoke can be smelled in the air around Ocean County with several controlled burns Tuesday around the county.

The New Jersey Forest FIre  Service reported the burns were scheduled for Lacey Township near the Garden State Parkway, Jake's Branch County Park in Beachwood and Pleasant Run Wildlife Managment Area in Upper Freehold.

“The state’s prescribed burning program, conducted only under exacting conditions and by highly trained personnel, is an important management tool in protecting lives and property, while providing an important additional benefit of keeping our wildlands ecologically healthy,” Richard Boornazian, DEP’s assistant commissioner for natural and historic resources, said.

The burns reduce the risk of wildfire later in the season by burning the buildup of undergrowth, fallen trees and branches, leaves and other debris on forest floors that fuels wildfires.

These burns are generally conducted during the mid- to late-winter months to minimize the amount of smoke produced, and when weather conditions tend to be safer for controlled fires. Residents near areas where controlled burns are taking place can expect to see and smell large plumes of smoke.

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