HUNTERS URGED TO USE
CAUTION IN DRY FORESTS
Hunters and others out in the autumn woods,
where conditions are drier than normal due to the drought,
are being advised to be alert not just for wildlife
but to the potential for wildfires as well.
"Ninety percent of forest fires are
caused by people. Anyone out in these very dry conditions
must be extremely careful, with matches, cigarettes and
other sources of ignition, including cars. Parking a hot
engine over dry leaves or pine needles can spark fires with
disastrous results. Everyone needs to take extra precautions
when the forests are this dry," said State Environmental
Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn.
During the months of October and November,
New Jersey Forest Fire Service firefighters responded to
over 650 wildfires that have burned over 1,000 acres of
New Jersey's forests due to the prolonged dry and windy
The Bureau of Forest Fire Management, part
of the DEP Division of Parks & Forestry, is responsible
for protecting 3.15 million acres of New Jersey open space
from wildfires. The service has 82 full-time paid employees
and a large part-time force on call throughout the year.
The service is under the direction of the state firewarden.