100 Years of Protecting New Jersey
During the past century, the Forest Fire Service has evolved into a premier wildland firefighting agency. We strive to promote a proactive approach to wildfire protection and prevention, by being responsive to the changing needs of our state and individual communities. Our personnel are among the best trained in the country and we keep them well prepared and equipped to handle a wide variety of tasks.
In addition to fire suppression and prevention, the Forest Fire Service assists other agencies and organizations with land management projects and conducts search and rescue operations. The service also helps with natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms and works with county and state emergency management coordinators to help handle all risk emergencies.
In the early years the Forest Fire Service relied on a system of Township Firewardens that used horses, wagons, and shovels to fight fire. Established by the state legislature on July 4, 1906, 64 Township Firewardens were appointed and authorized to appoint helpers to assist them. Each firewarden was issued a shovel to aid in carrying out their duties.
Today, the Forest Fire Service employs 89 fulltime firewardens and 269 on-call District Firewardens. The Forest Fire Service also maintains as trained base of roughly 1,500 part-time wildland firefighters than can be called upon as needed. The Forest Fire Service has 450 emergency response vehicles, seven aircraft and state of the art technology to utilize in carrying out its mission.