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Posted Friday, April 17th, 2020

Tips For Preventing Wildfires 

Now that peak wildfire season is underway in New Jersey, the State Forest Fire Service is reminding residents in Morris County and across the region how they can help to avoid forest fires.

photo shows state firemwen controlling a prescribed forest burn

“Nearly all wildfires are caused by people, through accidents, carelessness, negligence and even
arson,” said State Firewarden and Forest Fire Service Chief Gregory S. McLaughlin. “Reducing
those risks is especially critical at this time of year, when weather conditions and other factors can
increase wildfire risk.

The Forest Fire Service works to prevent wildfires year-round through public outreach and education efforts, maintenance of fire breaks and prescribed burning.

In addition, the Forest Fire Service uses a network of strategically placed fire towers staffed by trained observers to pinpoint fires and direct resources to them as quickly as possible, and maintains a system of automated weather stations.

Most wildfires are preventable, and the public should follow these guidelines:

  • Don’t discard cigarettes, matches and smoking materials on the ground;
  • Obtain permits for campfires from your nearest Forest Fire Service office.
  • Don’t leave fires unattended and be sure to douse them completely, until cold to the touch.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children. Teach youth about fire safety.
  • Protect structures from wildfire damage by creating space of at least 30 feet between homes
    and flammable vegetation in forested or wooded areas. Buffers should be free from vegetation that will burn easily, such as fallen leaves.
  • Report suspicious vehicles and individuals to authorities.
  • Use wood stoves and fireplaces carefully, since both can emit embers that spark fires. Fully
    douse ashes with water before disposal.

You can get more information from your local Forest Fire Service office.