Gathering clouds and an increasing chance of showers through midweek send New Jersey Forest Fire Service crews into woodlands of four Central and South Jersey counties today, conducting prescribed burns to clear dead underbrush.

Prescribed burn (courtesy NJ State Forest Fire Service)

There is just enough wind to send the smoke wafting considerable distances. So, you might catch the aroma, but be nowhere near a burn site today.

At 2 PM in Toms River, southerly winds were clocked at about 13 miles per hour.

In Ocean County, burns are taking place in the Stafford Forge Wildlife Management Area, Little Egg Harbor; Greenwood Wildlife Management Area, Lacey Township; Manchester Wildlife Management Area, Manchester Township.

Monmouth's burns are centered in Upper Freehold, in Monmouth County Park and the Pheasant Run Wildlife Management Area.

In Burlington County, crews are in Rancocas State Park in Westampton and Brendan Byrne State Park in Woodland Township.

Camden County's burn activity is in Waterford Township's section of Wharton State Forest.

See the schedule of prescribed burns, updated regularly, on the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service Facebook page.

Prescribed burns, according to the Forest Fire Service, clear away dead twigs, branches and leaves that feed wildfires and accelerate the risks of widespread damage and safety risks. They say that it also promotes healthier vegetation growth.

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