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Open Burning Authorized To Combat
Low Temperatures In Garden State Orchards

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2002


Hope Gruzlovic




April 5, 2002

Extremely cold temperatures are forecast for Friday and Saturday evenings that could seriously affect fruit crops in bloom or near bloom around the state. Therefore, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has authorized the following procedure for open burning to help fruit farmers protect their crops. No tires can be burned as part of this authorization.

  • Farmers who know that open burning is required to protect their blossoms or young buds must contact the DEP's 24-hour Communication Center at 1-877-WARN DEP. The following information is to be provided:
    • Name of the responsible individual who is to conduct the open burning
      Name of farm
      Street address (no P.O. Box)
      Telephone number of farm contact
      Predicted orchard(s) temperature in degree F
      Predicted wind speed at orchard(s)
      Hours of open burning
    • Material burned

    Upon completion of the open burning, the farmer must also provide the following information:
    • Reference to the previous identification provided in the open burning request
      Actual orchard(s) temperature in degree F
      Actual wind speed at the orchard(s) location
    • A statement that all restrictions in the open burning approval were followed.

    If the farmer does not know in advance that the critical temperature AND low wind velocity will occur, notice of such burning may be provided the following morning no later than 9 a.m.

    No open burning will be permitted unless the temperature within the orchard area is at or below the critical temperature for the bud stage and the wind velocity is less than five miles per hour. Both conditions must be met before open burning may occur. The attached report lists the critical temperatures for New Jersey crops. The average temperature required to kill 10 percent of the buds is defined as the critical temperature.

    Farmers may use smudge pots or open burn clean scrap lumber (untreated), felled trees, prunings, hedgegrows, or firewood. Farmers must make every effort to obtain and use approved smudge pots. These pots must be fueled with either kerosene or #2 fuel oil. No refuse trade waste, garbage, etc. is to be combined with the authorized burning material. Farmers will not be permitted to open burn tires to protect their fruit crops.

  • Failure to adhere to these provisions may result in appropriate enforcement action.