New Jersey at high risk of wildfires as weather warms up

According to fire experts, 99% of all wildfires in New Jersey are caused by people.

Jim Murdoch and Lanette Espy

Apr 11, 2023, 11:01 AM

Updated 470 days ago

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Warm, sunny weather this time of year comes with a price: high risk of wildfires, and April is peak season. Firefighters in New Jersey were on high alert Tuesday due to dangerous conditions statewide.
The heavy rains on Thursday night may have helped keep Tuesday from being one of those rare red flag warning days. But it only takes about two days of sunshine to dry out the ground this time of year. Brush fires have already been reported this week in Morganville and Mountain Lakes.
A combination of factors - low relative humidity, gusty winds and drying ground fuels and a lack of leaves on the trees - allows conditions to become dangerous, especially in the Pinelands. Each year, forest fire service intentionally sets fire to the ground areas in the most vulnerable communities. Burning off ground fuels helps to mitigate the risk of fire spread.
According to fire experts, 99% of all wildfires in New Jersey are caused by people. Tuesday’s elevated fire risk encompasses all of the state - the northwest mountains, beaches, Bay shores, and Pinelands. A discarded cigarette or an ember from a campfire or fire pit can spark a disaster. Nine out of 10 homes destroyed in New Jersey wildfires are the result of embers traveling through the air.


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