There’s been little rain, a lot of wind and now, some summer-like heat. Conditions are perfect for fire in New Jersey which has the state on high alert in hopes of preventing a significant blaze from breaking out.

“There have already been a number of brush fires across the state,” said John Rieth, Assistant Division Forest Fire Warden. “The good news is many of the fires we’ve had were small. I attribute that to the fact that we have our trucks staffed with people and we’re getting our crews to the locations relatively quickly. That makes a big difference.”

“We’ve been manning our fire towers, keeping crews on patrol and working on early detection. We’ve actually been getting our guys out there before 911 is even getting the phone call. That early detection allows for a rapid response,” said Rieth.

Rieth wants New Jerseyans to do their part to help prevent out-of-control fires from starting. “We’ve gone so far with dry weather. Any kind of fire in any kind of vegetation, whether it’s marsh or field or forest, has the potential of taking off and being a challenge to control,” said Rieth. “People should be cautious about doing any outdoor activity that involves a spark or open flame. If they use any type of outdoor equipment, they should make sure there are spark arrestors on them, whether it’s a lawnmower or a dirt bike or anything else.”

“Throwing cigarette butts on the ground is not a good practice any time of the year, anywhere,” said Rieth. “It’s important that people be aware of their surroundings, dispose of cigarette butts properly. There are also campfire restrictions in place. If you’re going camping, abide by the restrictions.”