Dry conditions spark ban on backyard fire pits, campfires in Cape May County

(Public domain image)

(Public domain image)

Outdoor fire restrictions are in effect for the southern New Jersey Shore due to abnormally dry conditions, state officials announced.

According to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, campfires and backyard fire pits are temporarily prohibited in nine counties, including Cape May County. No other Shore counties are under fire restrictions.

“All fires in wooded areas will be prohibited unless in an elevated prepared fireplace, elevated charcoal grill or stove using electricity or a liquid or gas fuel,” the New Jersey Forest Fire Service announced. “An elevated prepared fireplace must be constructed of steel, stone, brick or concrete with its fire box elevated at least one foot above the ground surface and surrounded by at least a ten feet radius clearance to mineral soil.”

The fire danger rating in Cape May and Atlantic counties is currently high, while a moderate classification is in place for for Monmouth and Ocean counties.

In areas with a high fire danger, fires can spread rapidly and be difficult to control unless extinguished while small, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

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