Brush fire in stafford wildlife management area

12 September 2016

published by http://www.app.com


USA—   A 6.5-acre brush fire broke out in the Stafford Forge Wildlife Management Area late last night, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The fire has since been contained and was in a "very remote" area in Stafford Township, said Bob Considine, spokesman for the NJDEP. State Forest Fire service crews are cleaning up the area.

READ: August, summer overall rank among NJ's hottest

The forest fire service will continue to monitor the area daily because conditions are dry, Considine said.

So far this year, more than 4,050 acres of New Jersey's state land have burned in brush fires, compared to about 1,500 acres in 2015.

2015: 741 fires; 1,531.25 acres
Jan. 1 to Aug. 28, 2016: 805 fires; 4,054.5 acres

MORE: Early morning fire guts Bradley Beach home

The fire danger risk in central New Jersey is high, meaning fuels will ignite readily and fires could start easily. Unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape — and will spread rapidly. High-intensity burning is possible and fires could become serious or hard to control unless they're attacked early and while they're still small, according to the NJ Forest Fire Service, which is part of the DEP.

Southern New Jersey has a moderate risk and the risk in the northern part of the state is low.

August was abnormally dry, weather data show, and September is shaping up to be dry too, state climatologist David Robinson said. When you add dry conditions to the abnormal warmth, wildfires can break out.

August in NJ was the dryest on record since 1995
August was the 9th dryest on record since 1895
The state only got about 2 inches of rain, compared to the normal 4

"I worry about the situation worsening in the days ahead until we receive some soaking rain," Robinson said. "it won't be as hot as the past few weeks, but humidity levels may be lower."

Read about this year's brush fires:

20 acres burned in Jackson fire
Four fires at peak of fire season
10-Acre forest fire in Brick
Jackson: 10 acres burned in brush fire
VIDEO: Fire rips through shed in Howell Township
Police: Accidental brush fire burns in Lacey

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

Kala Kachmar: 732-643-4061; kkachmar@gannettnj.com.