This is the time of year when the New Jersey Forest Fire Service begins conducting planned burns of vegetation and debris that may contribute to the outbreak and spread of forest fires. Most of the prescribed burns occur between February and early April, according to the State Department of the Environment. “However, depending on the purpose of management for a particular area, a prescribed burn can be implemented in the summer or fall.” In addition to clearing bushes and debris, burns improve the habitat of plants and animals, reduce the presence of harmful insects and mites and process nutrients into the soil. They can also be used to control the spread of invasive non-native species or to control meadows for endangered bird species.

The peak season of forest fires in Garden begins in late March and lasts until early May, depending on rainfall and weather. When the prescribed incineration program was announced last week, Department of the Environment Commissioner Sean Laturet said: “Some New Jersey residents may be surprised that there were more of them 900 forest fires last year ”.

The Forest Fire Service has a new online tool at njwildfire.org having a a map showing where the prescribed burns will be made for the next five days. This year the service intends to cover 25,000 hectares with the established fires. Most of them will be located in state forests, parks and wildlife areas. The service also assists private landowners, nonprofits, and district and municipal governments with prescribed incineration.

In 2021, the Forest Fire Service carried out the planned burns of 11,796 hectares of state land, 4,915 hectares of other state-owned lands and 1,225 hectares of private property, for a total of 17,936 hectares.

To learn more about wildfires in New Jersey, protecting property and other resources, visit www.njwildfire.org

To watch videos about the prescribed recording process, visit https://youtu.be/GBGBxfpltLw and https://youtu.be/CopjLNfxzRE.

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