🔥 NJ is doing more prescribed burns

🔥 2023 was busiest wildfire season in recent memory

🔥 State launches new portal to track your wildfire risk

UPDATE — March 22: The Forest Fire Service is doing prescribed burns today. The wind may shift the smoke to areas far from the burns.

Active fires in North Jersey: Swartswood State Park; Sparta Mountain; Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge.

Active fires in Central Jersey: Monmouth Battlefield State Park; Howell Park Golf Course; Allaire State Park; Hurley's Pond Brook.

Active fires in South Jersey: Bear Swam; Greenwood Forest; Wharton State Forest; Great Egg Harbor River; Edward G. Bevan Fsh & Wildlife Management Area.

If you doubt the source of smoke or fire, call 911 or the DEP at 877-927-6337.


After a dangerously active wildfire season last year, New Jersey is trying to get ahead of warmer weather.

The NJ Forest Fire Service plans to treat 25,000 acres of land through prescribed burns before April, which is typically around the start of wildfire season.

That's a nearly 17% increase in acreage from last year, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Prescribed burns help to reduce the risk of major wildfires. The planned fires burn away debris like branches, pine needles, and leaves that provide fuel for flames and also help to return nutrients to the soil.

Busiest wildfire season in recent memory

“In 2023 we saw the busiest wildfire year in over 20 years with 14 major wildfires burning across New Jersey threatening over 200 homes, forcing evacuations and closing roads,” said John Cecil, assistant commissioner for State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites.

Uncontrolled wildfires burned more than 18,000 acres last year. They struck between March 7 and Sept. 2.

The largest wildfire of 2023 was the Allen Road wildfire in Bass River. It began on May 31 and consumed 5,474 acres in less than 24 hours.

A fire vehicle parked near the containment lines for the Allen Road Wildfire in Bass River State Forest. (State Forest Fire Service)
A fire vehicle parked near the containment lines for the Allen Road Wildfire in Bass River State Forest. (State Forest Fire Service)

What's the risk of wildfires near you?

After an unusually active year for wildfires, the state has launched a New Jersey Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (NJWRAP).

The portal will be used to determine where prescribed burns could be most effective.

It can also be used by residents to check the risk of wildfires in their communities.

The New Jersey Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (Screenshot/NJWRAP)
The New Jersey Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (Screenshot/NJWRAP)

A map of the state in the portal provides ratings of burn probability, damage potential, and potential exposure to structures.

Areas on the map where there are state forests are most vulnerable. The greatest risks appear in South Jersey, particularly Ocean and Burlington Counties.

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