RINGWOOD - The Garden State is at a greater risk for brush fires due to recent windy and dry conditions. Several brush fires have already broke out over the last two weeks.

New Jersey has seen only 15 percent of its normal rainfall total, and wind and fluctuating wind temperatures have made conditions ripe for forest fires. Also contributing to the risk is the lack of leaves on trees, which means the sun shines directly on the ground acting like a heat lamp.

The ground in parts of the state is so dry that officials say it caused a pile of mulch to spontaneously combust in a backyard in Parsippany. The fire was extinguished, but not before it spread to a home.