Controlled burns planned near gunnery range

February 8, 2008 7:26:34 PM PST
The state is planning to set small, controlled fires in the woods around a military gunnery range in South Jersey.

A flare dropped from a plane touched off a massive forest fire near the Warren Grove Gunnery Range in Little Egg Harbor Township last May. It burned more than 17,000 acres and destroyed four homes. Six thousand people had to evacuate.

The goal of the controlled burns is to clear underbrush and dead wood that could fuel a big fire.

The burns will take place by mid-March in the Stafford Forge Wildlife Management Area southwest of Route 72 and the Bass River State Forest east and west of Route 539.