By: Reney Waters, Writer / Follow South Jersey Bridgeton City Intern
CUMBERLAND COUNTY, NJ – After South Jersey experienced a wildfire that burned nearly 1,000 acres of land between Ocean and Burlington counties, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service enacted Stage 3 fire restrictions Wednesday, May 19 in the following counties:
- Atlantic County
- Camden County
- Cumberland County
- Gloucester County
- Mercer County
- Middlesex County
- Salem County
- Monmouth County
- Ocean County
- Atlantic County
- Burlington County
This temporary action will no longer allow agricultural fires, and all fires in wooded areas are prohibited unless contained in an elevated stove using only propane, natural gas, gas or electricity including charcoal fires,” according to the New Jersey Development of Environmental Protection.
The first stage consists of all fires directly on the ground being prohibited with fires on mineral soil, which will not endanger the forest. A prepared fire ring must be constructed of steel, stone, brick or concrete with a gravel or masonry base. The same rules apply for Stage 2, but fires with an elevation at least one foot above ground and surrounded by a radius no less than ten feet are allowed under the second stage.
The wildfire, which was mostly contained as of Wednesday, threatened nearly 100 homes in the region. Those homes, however, were deemed to be safe as of Monday evening, according to 6ABC in Philadelphia. The cause of the fire is still being investigated by authorities, and approximately 220 firefighters from dozens of municipalities in South Jersey helped to get the larger fire under control.
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.