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Forest Fire Danger Remains for New Jersey

As another brush fire burns in South Jersey, an Ocean County Freeholder offers advice on reducing the risk of starting the next one.

Sunday forest fire in Wharton State Forest seend from Eastern HS in Voorhees
Sunday forest fire in Wharton State Forest seend from Eastern HS in Voorhees (@dcshrader (Dave Schrader) via Twitter)

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service reports yet another smokey brush fire in south Jersey near Atison Lake in Waterford inside Wharton State Forest. The blaze, described as being “in the middle of nowhere, has burned at least 750 acres, Dubbed the “Degolia Wildfire,” two air  tankers are working to pour water on the fire.

Conditions remain dry in New Jersey’s forests with a low relative humidity despite Friday night’s rain which helped bring fires in Ocean, Gloucester and Burlington counties under control and put them completely out.

Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari  (R) is urging people to not throw their used cigarette and cigar butts out the window of their car.

The Republican points out that many late models cars no longer include an ashtray so more people are simply throwing their butts out the window. “Burning cigarettes are a hazard to our woodlands, Vicari tells the Lakewood Scoop. “One single cigarette butt can lead to a blazing forest fire and can put lives and property in danger.”

He said used butts not only pose a fire danger but a pollution danger to Barnegat Bay.

“One of the biggest problems facing the bay is the tremendous amount of cigarette butts that is washed into the waterway,” Vicari told the Scoop. “One cigarette may not seem like much, but thousands upon thousands are damaging this vital body of water.”

The freeholder suggests buying a fireproof ashtray or using a container for discarding used butts.

The good news from meteorologist Alan Kasper is that the forest fire this week will decrease on Tuesday with the first of several days of rain.

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