On a somewhat chilly yet blustery March day, the National Weather Service Forecast Office at Mt. Holly NJ (Philadelphia) has issued a special weather statement for enhanced fire danger for central and southern New Jersey for today. Depending on when you arrive at this post, the special weather statement may have expired, so I am copying it below. I believe that this is the first day of enhanced fire danger this year.
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ 932 AM EDT WED MAR 18 2015
NJZ009-010-012>027-182000- HUNTERDON-SOMERSET-MIDDLESEX-WESTERN MONMOUTH-EASTERN MONMOUTH- MERCER-SALEM-GLOUCESTER-CAMDEN-NORTHWESTERN BURLINGTON-OCEAN- CUMBERLAND-ATLANTIC-CAPE MAY-ATLANTIC COASTAL CAPE MAY- COASTAL ATLANTIC-COASTAL OCEAN-SOUTHEASTERN BURLINGTON- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...FLEMINGTON...SOMERVILLE... NEW BRUNSWICK...FREEHOLD...SANDY HOOK...TRENTON...PENNSVILLE... GLASSBORO...CAMDEN...CHERRY HILL...MOORESTOWN...MOUNT HOLLY... JACKSON...MILLVILLE...HAMMONTON...CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE... OCEAN CITY...ATLANTIC CITY...LONG BEACH ISLAND... WHARTON STATE FOREST
932 AM EDT WED MAR 18 2015
...ENHANCED FIRE DANGER ALONG AND JUST SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 78 OVER SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL NEW JERSEY TODAY...
GUSTY NORTHWEST WINDS TO 30 MPH COMBINED WITH HUMIDITY LOWERING TO NEAR 20 PERCENT THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL NEW JERSEY CAN LEAD TO A MORE RAPID RATE OF SPREAD OF ANY FINE FUEL FIRES THAT MAY DEVELOP.
EXTRA CARE IS ADVISED TO MAINTAIN OUTDOOR FIRE SAFETY TODAY.
I'll do my best to see if there is any wildfire activity today, and I'll share any updates that I might come across. However, there is a chance that I won't hear any news about wildfire activity.
As some of you know I wrote about prescribed burns in New Jersey on March 13th and March 16th. I came across an article on prescribed burns in NJ on Philly dot com (March 16, 2014). The article discusses the prescribed burns that were conducted by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service last Friday (March 13th). Of note is a reference in the Philly dot com article of March 16th saying that the end date for prescribed burning is not yet known:
Just how long the burns will continue is unknown, said DEP spokesman Larry Hajna. The end date "is a moving target because of the rain and snow," he said Friday. "We were trying for a few weeks to get this launched."
The burns will continue beyond the usual March 15 cutoff. "But we can't go too late into the season," Hajna said. "We go as long as we can safely do it."
The controlled fires are generally conducted during the winter months to minimize the amount of smoke produced, and when weather conditions tend to be safer for them.
I'll do my best to keep on eye on any future prescribed burns in New Jersey and post updates in future articles.