As the weather gets warmer and less rain falls, the risk of potential wildfires soars. With the hot and dry conditions in New Jersey the past few days, multiple wildfires have broken out as the risk remains high around the entire state. Read on for more about the wildfires and the risk these conditions pose to the Garden State.
What to Know
According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), conditions are most dangerous for wildfires in March, April, and May. The humidity in NJ has been very low, and the temperatures reached the 80s and 90s the past few days — when you combine those dry conditions with wind, wildfires occur.
Currently, all of New Jersey is still at high risk for potential wildfires. The NJ Fire Danger Dashboard on the NJDEP website states that the fire danger is still very high in North, Central, and Southern New Jersey.
A Stage 2 Campfire Risk is in effect — meaning that all fires in wooded areas are prohibited unless in an elevated prepared fireplace, elevated charcoal grill, or stove using electricity or a liquid or gas fuel — and an elevated prepared fire must meet certain criteria. In addition, no agricultural burning is allowed until further notice.
The National Weather Service (NWS) also issued a Special Weather Statement on Thursday, April 13th, saying that there is an elevated risk of wildfire spread throughout the day and into the evening. There is also a red flag warning in effect for Southeastern Pennsylvania that was issued on Wednesday by the NWS.
As of March 14th, 2023, there are two wildfires occurring in New Jersey. The one in South Jersey has been contained and one in North Jersey is still burning. Down in the Pine Barrens of Ocean County, a 3,800-acre wildfire broke out on Tuesday night that caused many to be evacuated around Manchester and Lakehurst as homes and structures were threatened. The Kanouse Wildfire in the Passaic County town of West Milford broke out on Thursday night, and has burned over 720 acres as firefighters work to contain it. The fire was about 35% contained as of 11PM on Thursday night per the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.