The New Jersey Forest Fire Service is urging residents to be cautious as the spring wildfire season starts in the state.
The agency says this year’s season is starting a little earlier than usual because winter conditions became drier and warmer than normal as the season progressed into late February
The agency says nearly all wildfires are caused by people through accidents, carelessness, negligence or arson. They say extra vigilance is now vital to reduce the risk, when weather and other factors are friendly to wildfires.
Officials say fallen trees, dormant plants and leaf and pine needle litter on the ground can dry out quickly and ignite easily, fueling wildfires that can threaten property.
The agency says the entire state is now at moderate risk of wildfires.