New Jersey fights wildfires with fire

March 12, 2008 4:07:18 PM PDT
Motorists driving through rural Burlington and Ocean Counties may have seen smoke wafting across roads, but this time it wasn't from a wildfire. The fire wardens hope to burn up to 2000 acres of underbrush that helps fuel wildfires in the New Jersey Pinelands.

The forest fire season starts on Saturday. These controlled fires will reduce underbrush, so if and when forest fires start there is less to burn.

Prescribed fires were also set in the Stafford Forge Wildlife Refuge in Ocean County.

This area is adjacent to last year's devastating fire that scorched 18-thousand acres and damaged or destroyed several homes. That blaze was the result of flares fired over the Warren Grove Gunnery Range.

Spring is always a problem time in the Pine Barrens with weather conditions creating a recipe for fires.

Weather permitting, Forest Fire Service members around the state are working to clear out as much brush as possible in hopes that the upcoming season is not a destructive one.