Forest Fire Service issues ‘red flag’ warning for southern NJ

Posted: Updated:
WOODLAND TOWNSHIP -

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service has issued a “red flag” warning for the southern portion of the state due to an increased risk of wildfires.

Forest fire aviation officer Rob Gill says that gusty winds, dry ground, low humidity and strong sun make it a perfect combination for an increased risk of fires.

Fire crews worked to lessen the potential risk of fire by burning brush along the sides of the roads in the Pinelands.

“Having those barriers of charred areas, what we call ‘the black,’ will not promote extreme fire growth because of that prescribed burn that has already occurred,” Gill says.

A fleet of airplanes and helicopters stationed at Coyle Air Field in Woodland Township are at the ready so that Forest Fire Service officers can take to the skies to keep an eye out for any possible fires. But Gill says that the old-fashioned fire watchtowers also offer great protection.

“Even in today’s age with cellphones and technology, we are able to spot fires using the fire tower network,” Gill says.

Officials warn New Jersey residents to never throw lit cigarettes out of car windows due to the risk of starting a fire. Residents are also urged to be extra careful with outdoor barbecuing and fires.

Gill says that the critical risk of a fire diminishes after sunset, and the overall risk will drop once leaf growth is finished on the trees.

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