With low humidity and gusty winds, N.J. under brush fire watch

Low humidity and gusty winds are combining to create a danger of brush fires through New Jersey.

With little rain lately, the fire threat has increased, said Russ Fenton, a fire warden with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

“Springtime is usually a bad time of year for us. There are no leaves on the trees, so it doesn’t take very long for them to dry out with the winds, lower humidity, and the sun being able to dry the fuels on the ground,” Fenton said.

Every spring, small fires break out in New Jersey woodlands, and larger ones scorch parts of the Pinelands.

Forest fire crews have been busier than last year, and Fenton said he hopes showers forecast for later in the week will help.

In the meantime, residents are urged to be careful when discarding cigarettes. Any brush fires could be spread quickly because of the winds.

More than 90 percent of the wildfires in the Garden State are caused by humans. Some of them are accidental, he said, and some are arson.

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