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Winds Raise Brush Fire Threat in NJ Today

Brush fire alerts have been issued in New Jersey today as a forecast of gusty winds and low humidity raise the risk of such blazes.

 

Helicopter drops water on a forest fire in Vernon
Helicopter drops water on a forest fire in Vernon (NJ Forest Fire Service/YouTube)

A cold front that swept through New Jersey on Tuesday night will bring northwest winds of 15-30 MPH gusting to 35 MPH. Wind and low relative humidity create ideal conditions for the spread of brush fires, prompting a Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watch for the entire state. Dry brush and leaves also help fires spread quickly.

The threat will be at its worst in the afternoon as winds increase. A number of fires have burned across the state almost daily;a fire broke out in Egg Harbor Township on Wednesday morning on Route 559.  A fire burned through 100 acres Tuesday in Wawayanda State Park in Vernon behind an A+P supermarket according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.On Monday a brush along the railroad tracks in Morrisville, Pennsylvania sent smoke across the Delaware into Trenton.

Outdoor fires and agricultural fires have been banned on Wednesday and Thursday according to the the NJ Forest Service which has several suggestions to help prevent brush fires.

  • Don’t flick lit cigarettes out the window of a moving vehicles
  • If you are burning debris outdoors it should be done away from power lines, overhanging limbs, buildings or cars. Make sure the area is surrounded by gravel or mineral soil.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended
  • When extinguishing a campfire allow it to burn completely to ash
  • Pour lots of water on the whole fire until the hissing stops
  • If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember: do NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.

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