Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Signs of the advent of spring in NJ: prescribed burns and wildfire activity

Depending on weather conditions wildfires can happen at any time of year in New Jersey and elsewhere, but with spring being just around the corner that means that spring fire season in New Jersey in coming. So while February in New Jersey may not be the spring wildfire season there was, nonetheless, a wildfire in the New Jersey Pine Barrens this past Sunday (February 19th).

About 10 AM on Sunday, February 19th, a wildfire of undetermined cause, was reported in the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area in Manchester New Jersey (Ocean County). When I travel through the New Jersey Pine Barrens I frequently take a route that takes me through the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area (link to map) which is near county route 539 in Ocean County so I have a general idea of where the wildfire was located. Two helicopters worked the fire, one for observation and the other using a bucket to drop water on the wildfire, and no property was damaged. (see this February 19th article from NJ Advance Media along with this February 19th report from NBC news in New York).

The wildfire burned just under 570 acres before being contained on February 20, 2017, see the following Facebook Post from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service for more information:

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service has resumed prescribed burns, at least in central and southern New Jersey. On February 19th and 20th the following prescribed burns were scheduled by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service:

Franklin Parker Preserve. Chatsworth (Burlington County)
Warren Grove Range, Stafford (Ocean County)
Brendan Byrne State Forest (Burlington County)
Joint Base McGuire-Dox (Ocean, Burlington Counties)
Allaire State Park, Wall (Monmouth County)
Lake Shenandoah, Lakewood (Ocean County)

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