RINGWOOD - New Jersey’s forest fire deputies are on high alert after nearly three weeks of breezy weather with very little rain.
The New Jersey Forest Fire Service says that these conditions make wildfires likely and very dangerous in the Garden State. Forest fire deputies are stationed throughout the state in watchtowers scanning for any signs of trouble.
“You sit up there and look for smoke,” says John Carbone, who is stationed up in the Ramapo Mountain State Forest.
Carbone says that too little rain, too much wind and an absence of foliage combine to make dangerous conditions for wildfires.
“This year, from this tower, we’ve seen 15 to 20 fires,” he says.
Spotters are given binoculars and from the towers can see up to 30 miles in every direction. If smoke or fire is spotted, the spotters are able to call it in to get firefighters to the area in a timely manner.
Fire experts say that the threat of wildfires will lessen once the trees fully develop their foliage because the ground will be better shaded and not so dry.
Until then and until New Jersey sees more rain, experts warn people to be mindful of where they put out cigarettes or dispose of things like hot coals.
Rain showers are expected in New Jersey over the next few days.