RATING FOR FOREST FIRE DANGER
Dry Weather and Strong
Winds Cause Concern
(05/42) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell announced today an elevation
of the forest fire danger rating within all regions of the state
to very high.
"Despite the rain and flooding in the last few weeks, forest
fire season has begun with a dry weather pattern in place over
the state," said Commissioner Campbell. "Combined with
the predicted winds, fires can start readily and spread quickly."
Visitors and residents of forests and open lands in the state
are reminded to be careful with outdoor fires and obtain necessary
fire permits. Caution also should be exercised with smoking materials
and the use of equipment that could discharge sparks. Fine forest
fuels such as grass, needles and leaves rapidly are drying to
The recent dry weather pattern has caused the National Weather
Service to issue a fire weather watch throughout New Jersey for
low relative humidity, increasing temperatures, and strong winds.
In response to this condition, DEP's Forest Fire Service will
supplement its state of readiness by expanding firefighting staff
availability this weekend. This action is in addition to the normal
preparedness levels that include full staffing of fire towers
for early detection of wildfires and the availability of suppression
aircraft that can drop up to 300 gallons of water.
Since Sunday, April 10, DEP's Forest Fire Service has responded
to more than 148 wildfires ranging in size from one-quarter acre
to 15 acres.
Currently, no additional restrictions on open burning permits
are in place. However, this may change if a drying trend continues.
For up to date information on fire danger conditions and open
burning restrictions, visit DEP's Forest Fire Service Web site
Residents can contact the DEP's Forest Fire Service for more
information at (609) 292-2977.