Stoves, and Heaters
all lanterns, stoves, and heaters before
refueling them. They should be refueled on the
ground in a cleared area; if any fuel spills,
move the appliance to a new area before lighting
flammable liquid fuel containers in a safe
place. Never light lanterns and stoves inside a
tent, trailer, or camper. If you use a lantern
or stove inside a tent or trailer, be sure to
have adequate ventilation. Always read and
follow instructions provided by the
types of equipment and vehicles are required to
have spark arresters. Chain saws, portable
generators, cross-country vehicles, and trail
bikes, for example, require spark arresters if
used in or near grass, brush, or wooded areas.
Check with your local dealer to ensure that the
spark arrester is functioning properly.
smoking outdoors, safe practices require proper
disposal of smoking materials and matches. Grind
out your cigarette, cigar, or pipe tobacco in
mineral soil and ensure that match heads are
cold before disposing. Be careful when smoking
while riding a horse or trail bike.
using burning charcoal briquets, “dunk ‘em!”
Don’t sprinkle. Soak the coals with lots of
water; stir them and soak again. Be sure they
are out —
feel the coals with your bare hands to be sure.
a permit. Check with your local Forest
Firewarden or local fire official regarding
specific rules and regulations. Also, check the
weather conditions; don’t burn on dry, windy
campfires away from trees, overhanging branches,
stumps, logs, dense dry grass, and forest
litter. Pile any extra fire wood away from the
plenty of water handy and have a shovel for
throwing dirt on the fire if it
out of control.
with dry twigs and small sticks. Add larger
sticks as the fire builds up. Put the largest
pieces of wood on last, pointing them toward the
center of the fire, and gradually push them into
the campfire small. A good bed of coals or a
small fire surrounded by rocks gives plenty of
heat. Scrape away litter, duff, and any organic
material for a radius of 10-feet in all
directions. This will keep a small campfire from
leave a campfire unattended!! Even a small
breeze could quickly cause the fire to spread.
the fire with water. Make sure all embers,
coals, and sticks are wet. Move rocks— there
may be burning embers underneath.
the remains, add more water, and stir again. Be
sure all burned material has been extinguished
and cooled. If you do not have water, use dirt.
Mix enough soil or sand with the embers.
Continue adding and stirring until all material
is cooled. Feel all materials with your bare
hand. Make sure that no roots are burning. Do
not bury your coals —they
can smolder and result in a fire.
periods of drought, or high fire danger
campfires may be restricted in accordance with
the following Forest Fire Service policy:
Stage #1: Fires directly on the ground
will be prohibited unless in a prepared fire
ring. Fires on mineral soil which will not
endanger the forest, such as in a gravel pit,
may be permitted at the discretion of the Forest
Fire warden issuing the permit. A prepared fire
ring must be constructed of steel, stone, brick,
or concrete with a gravel or masonry base. The
fire ring must be located in an area cleared of
organic material for a radius of 10 feet in all
Stage #2: All fires in
wooded areas will be prohibited unless in an
elevated prepared fireplace, elevated grill, or
stove utilizing charcoal, gas, propane, natural
gas or electricity. An elevated prepared
fireplace must be constructed of steel, stone,
brick, or concrete with the fire elevated at
least one foot above the ground surface. An
elevated charcoal grill may be stationary or
portable, but must be located within an area
cleared of organic material for a radius of 10
feet in all directions,
Stage #3: All fires in
wooded areas will be prohibited unless contained
in an elevated stove using only propane, natural
gas, gas, or electricity. No charcoal fires are
Campfire restrictions will remain
in effect until precipitation adequately reduces
wildfire danger and restrictions are rescinded
by the Forest Fire Service.
year, Forest Fire Service firefighters and equipment
respond to over 1,600 wildfires. These wildfires
damage forests and other natural resources, as well as
threaten people’s lives and improved property.
People cause 99% of all wildfires in New Jersey,
either accidentally or intentionally.
arson continues to be the leading cause of wildfires
in New Jersey, please report any suspicious activities
to your local Forest Fire Warden or local police.
of New Jersey Forest Fires
Jersey’s greatest danger of wildfires occurs during
the spring months of March, April, and May, and the
autumn months of October and November. Because trees
are bare during these months, sunlight is allowed to
reach the ground and dry the leaf litter on the forest
floor. Winds during the spring and fall can be strong
and dry, thus creating a deep, fluffy layer of
hazardous forest fuels. Lastly, an ignition source can
spark these fuels, creating a devastating wildfire.
of the season, conditions often allow wildfires to
start. Wildfires may occur during any month and at any
time of day, damaging valuable forests and natural
resources, and threatening improved property and human
can be prevented! 99% of all wildfires in New Jersey
can be prevented by being careful with the use of
fire. This page provides several tips to help
you enjoy fire safely in the outdoors.
You Can Prevent Forest Fires!
your fire escapes, you are liable for the cost of the
damage to others.
can’t happen to me”……It Can!
more information about fire safety in New Jersey’s
Outdoors, contact your local Forest Fire warden or one
of the following Forest Fire Services offices:
Lisbon, NJ 08064
Landing, NJ 08330
E. State Street, 4th Floor
pressures, improved transportation, more leisure time and
increased desire to escape the noise and pollution of the
state’s urban areas has resulted in a proliferation of
wildland residential subdivisions and developments. The
majority of these have been planned and built without due
consideration to forest fire protection.
potential for wildfire disaster in New Jersey has been
dramatically illustrated in years past. Large
conflagrations occurred in 1930, 1954, 1963 and more
recently in 1971 and
The most notable was the weekend of April 20-21, 1963,
when a series of wildfires destroyed 183,000 acres,
consumed 186 homes, 197 buildings, and was responsible for
the loss of seven lives!! The estimated loss to improved
property exceeded $8.5 million!!
Land Urban Interface, or the construction of residential
type communities in wildland areas, has become a national
problem. Forest fires burning into developments have taken
an increasing toll on improved property. Several fires
have reached disastrous proportions with hundreds of homes
destroyed and lives lost. Residents of wooded areas must
take this threat seriously and take precautions to prevent
firewood 30 feet away from the house or other buildings.
Keep flammables in safety cans. Screen openings in roof
attic and floors to prevent accumulations of needles, leaves
or other debris.
minimum fuel break of not less than 30 feet should be
established and maintained around all structures by the
selective removal or thinning of trees, brush, ground
cover and dead plant material. The amount of additional
clearance and distance required to ensure adequate fire
protection depends on the fuel hazard classification. The
following guidelines should be used:
Moderate Hazard: non-pine barrens, hard wood forest
and northern hardwoods a distance of 30 feet measured from
Hazard: pine barrens forest including mature forms of
pine oak and oak pine a distance of 75 feet measured from
Extreme Hazard: immature pine oak or oak pine less
than 20 feet tall, pine scrub oak and all classes of pitch
pine lowland a distance of 100 feet measured from
plantings should be non-resinous and well watered (no
mountain laurel or sheep laurel).
green lawn that is well watered and mowed is also a good
fuel break. However, grass should not be allowed to grow
tall or dry out because in that condition it is one of the
fastest burning fuels.
Access Road and Escape
roads to your property should be at least 16 feet wide to
allow easy entrance for fire trucks and passage of
vehicles evacuating the area. The name of the road should
be posted at intersections and the name of the occupants
at driveway entrance. Dead end roads should terminate in a
cul-de-sac with a minimum turnaround radius of 45 feet.
Plan a safe retreat route for you and your family before
you are confronted with a forest fire!
Disposal of Ashes
special precaution to dispose of stove or fireplace ashes
in a safe manner. NEVER dump freshly removed ashes outside
on dry leaves, dry grass, or other flammables!
Place ashes in a metal container.
with water and cover container
sit for two days until all hot embers are extinguished
of cold ashes with trash pickup or a a legal dump
Area around barbeque should be cleared to mineral
soil an a radius of 5 feet in all directions
Have fire fighting equipment on hand (100
feet of garden hose, nozzle shovel,
rake, bucket and extension ladder)
Post phone numbers for local police, fire
company and fire warden in a
Children in a residence should be trained in how to
report a (forest) fire and what to do in an emergency.
Allow leaves and twigs to accumulate on roof.
Store flammable materials near the house
Allow branches of nearby trees to overhang
Let trees and shrubbery growth crowd-in on
Operate a woodstove or fireplace with an unsafe
Clean roof surfaces. Remove leaf and twig
Stack firewood well clear of the house foundation
Prune lower branches of overhanging limbs on nearby
Establish and maintain a minimum fire break of not
less than 30 feet around all structures by selective
removal and thinning of trees, brush and ground cover
Install a spark arrestor on the flue