Conditions ripe for ‘rapid’ fire spread today at the Jersey Shore

     A fire risk status sign in Berkeley Township's Double Trouble State Park. (Image: Erik Weber)

    A fire risk status sign in Berkeley Township's Double Trouble State Park. (Image: Erik Weber)

    The National Weather Service is warning of the possibility of rapid fire spread today. 

    The fire weather threat is due to a combination of gusty winds and dry conditions, according to a NWS bulletin. 

    From the bulletin:

    Westerly winds between 15 to 20 MPH today will gust frequently between 25 to 30 mph today. Relative humidity values are already at or below 30 percent early this morning. The relative humidity may fall into the lower 20s or even teens later this morning and afternoon. These conditions combined with dry fine fuels, such as dead leaves and grasses, will increase the risk for rapid fire spread. Outdoor burning is highly discouraged today.

    The New Jersey Forest Fire Service ranks today’s fire danger as “very high.” Its fire towers are staffed. 

    The service has suspended its prescribed burning program for today.

    The seasonal prescribed burning program — which reduces wildfire risks by burning buildup of undergrowth, fallen trees and branches, leaves, and other debris on forest floors — has been underway since last month.

    As Smokey Bear says, “Only you can prevent wildfires.” Here are some tips from him.

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