Wildfire conditions continue today in New Jersey

For the second day in a row, the National Weather Service has warned that weather conditions in New Jersey could increase the chance of fires.

Yesterday, the agency issued a red flag warning as brush fires ignited around the state. The largest in North Jersey was a 10-acre fire in Wantage Township, the Star-Ledger reported. Other fires were reported in Oxford, Kingwood Township, and Elsinboro Township in Salem County, where a farmer started a controlled burn that got out of hand, turning into a 15-acre blaze.

While it did not issue another red flag warning today, the NWS said on its website that wildfires were a “heightened concern” today:

“For the second day in a row, the airmass over our area will be extremely dry. Relative humidities this afternoon will be in the teens to low 20s. The lack of precipitation has allowed fuel moisture to drop to dangerously low levels.

“Fortunately, wind speeds will be lower today than they were yesterday. For this reason, we will not be issuing a red flag warning today. However, there will still be a heightened concern for wildfires. Northerly winds will average 10 to 15 mph this morning and there could be a few gusts to near 20 mpg. Wind speeds this afternoon will average around 10 mph. Moisture levels will begin to increase on Wednesday as winds become onshore. We could see some light rain as early as late Wednesday night or Thursday. A more widespread heavier rain is possible late Thursday and Thursday night. And yet another round of rain may affect our area late Saturday into Sunday.”

The state Forest Fire Service reportedly has burned 20,000 acres in advance, aiming to destroy excess vegetation that could fuel a blaze.

Wildfire season is at its height from now through the middle of May.

Posted by Green Jersey on March 24th, 2009 | Filed in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »


2 Responses to “Wildfire conditions continue today in New Jersey”

  1. Joe B Says:

    Thanks for the headsup, Jennifer. Readers might be interested that there has been a bill in the Assembly — A1979 (2004) — that provides for rules around “prescribed burning” that is intended to reduce chances of a farmer’s burn getting got out of control. More generally, while wildfires have their place in nature, they’re becoming a bigger a issue nationwide amid Global Warming — something highlighted in Tom Brokaw’s “Global Warming: The New Challenge” showing now on the Planet Green cable channel. A great article on global warming impact and desertification generally can be found here: http://climateprogress.org/2009/03/22/an-introduction-to-global-warming-impacts-hell-and-high-water/

  2. Bill Wolfe Says:

    check these photos and blog out – I took them almost one year ago to the day on wildfires in this same town

    Here’s link to photo’s

    http://blog.nj.com/njv_bill_wolfe/2009/03/south_jersey_fire_permits_need.html#more

    Bill

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