NJ Forest Fire Service sets 600-acre controlled burn in Burlington County forest
Members of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service lit a series of fires in Burlington County on Tuesday to prevent future forest fires.
The fires were intentionally set along the ground of the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest in Burlington County. Smoke could be seen for miles.
“This time of year, we have to get really cranking – get our goals achieved – our prescribed burns,” says Forest Fire Service Warden Shawn Judy. “We generally strive to accomplish 20,000 acres of prescribed burns ever year.”
The fires help clear accumulated forest underbrush, while the heat opens pine cones and helps spread seeds. The fires also help prevent future forest fires.
“1963 was a terrible year for this part of the state of New Jersey and since that time, the Forest Fire Service has developed mitigation plans, mechanical mitigation, continued hazard reduction burning and stepped up as plans to keep these fires small,” Judy says.
Crews on average clear the same areas every five to seven years by setting the controlled burns.