New Jersey State Forest Fire Service executes controlled burns to limit forest fire risk
The New Jersey State Forest Fire Service executed a series of controlled burns Monday in an effort to limit the risk of forest fires.
Firefighters lit the fires in various areas around the Franklin Parker Preserve in Tabernacle, Burlington County.
"Basically when there is a wildfire in one of these lots of woods, it doesn't burn with the intensity that it would have," says Shawn Judy with the service.
The fires are designed to burn all of the twigs, brush and leaves to prevent future fires.
"We burn those fine fuels, the pine needles and the leaves, and we reduce the ladder fuels that the fire uses to carry to the canopy the tops of the trees," says Judy.
The planned statewide burning comes after nearly 600 acres were consumed by a fire in the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area in Manchester this past weekend.
Members of the forest fire service were also up in fire watchtowers and helicopters to make sure the controlled burns were going as planned.
"They're looking at the fire behavior, the amount of fire and areas of concern they have regarding the speed and the intensity," Judy says.
About 4,000 acres were burned Monday. About 20,000 acres will be burned by the end of March.