Dry weather sparks brush and forest fire concerns in New Jersey

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It has been several weeks without significant rainfall in New Jersey, which means there is now a concern about brush and forest fires around the state.

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service has issued restrictions for Morris, Passaic, Hunterdon, Somerset, Sussex and Warren counties due to fire danger being listed as high in those areas.

Fires on the ground are prohibited unless they're enclosed in a ring of steel, stone, brick, or concrete with a gravel or masonry base.

“You have to be extra careful, especially if you're having an outdoor barbecue. Make sure there is a grill cover over it to stop the embers from going up,” says Ocean County Fire Marshal Daniel Mulligan.

RELATED: Backyard fire pit ban goes in effect in areas of NJ amid stretch of dry weather 

State officials say that they are keeping an eye on some of the state’s drier areas – such as the Pine Barrens.

“It's going to be very hot and there are going to be some winds, so we're concerned about that. We'll have extra patrols out there monitoring the Pinelands,” says Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy.

Mastronardy says that New Jerseyans should also be on alert and report any fires they may see to prevent them from spreading.

Salem County is officially in a drought, with the rest of the state continues to be just above the drought stage. Rain is expected in the Garden State by the end of the week.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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