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Controlled Burns Underway To Prevent Forest Fires [AUDIO]

controlled burn
Controlled burn as seen from Route 72 in Manahawkin. (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media)

Its been a relatively dry winter and New Jersey Forest Fire officials are taking no chances. Their prescribed, or controlled burns are already underway at various spots around the state.

Since 1928, this process has proven to be the most effective and inexpensive way to safeguard residents and businesses near wooded areas. Each year, they clear out miles of underbrush, twigs, pine cones, broken limbs – virtually anything that can fuel a potentially devastating forest fire. Its taken very seriously by the fire warden’s at the department.

Jim Ducha, an Assistant Division Forest Fire Warden tells Townsquare Media that they have a general idea where they will be going on a given day but sometimes the conditions will change that. He says “for example, on rainy days, we don’t do the burns that often. We have to re-juggle the schedule often so they decide the morning of where they’ll be.”

Ducha says “we have to take into account where the hot spots are. With the Winter being as mild and as dry as it’s been, we are going to see an early forest fire season which doesn’t typically begin till the end of March, early April. That will probably be a little different this year. Although, now that I’ve said that, it will probably rain and snow for the next six weeks.”

Parts of Ocean and Burlington are getting the treatment now with more to follow in the coming weeks.

More information on controlled burns can be found online.

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