Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Fighting Fires with Fire – a Prescribed Burn Took Place in Hardwick

The NJ Forest Fire Service (NJFFS) has been working statewide to prevent wildfires. On March 22nd, their efforts involved at least two prescribed burns on property in Hardwick. Ridge View Echo staff and coincidentally, Hardwick’s Firewise Ambassador in charge of assisting to spread the word about wildfire prevention, obtained permission from the State DEP to attend one in action and report on the process.

March 22, 2023:

Eric Weber of Knowlton. Assistant Division Fire Warden, began by giving instructions to the 8-person crew of trained wildland firefighters on how the Dixon Burn would be conducted. Beginning at 10 a.m., the plan was to burn four large hay fields on property off Butler Road in Hardwick. Property owners were present and eager for the burn to commence, as they had applied some time ago but because of weather and/or low staff, circumstances weren’t right until March 22nd.
A phalanx of forest firetrucks parked in an orderly fashion to begin work.
A nearby water source from which to stock up to fill the handheld water pumps needed to create firebreaks
Fires were lit in the dry grass to form a concentric circle.
Trained fire personnel stood watch for embers escaping the fire ring.
In less than 45 minutes, the fire raged toward the center, creating a “fire Whirl”, or mini dry tornado of ash, both fascinating and frightening. Onlookers were amazed at the speed in which the conflagration took place and burned out.
The dark plume of smoke could be seen from Millbrook Road on another day because the first burn was suspended when weather conditions devolved to include wind gusts, increasing the chances of wildfire. Weber said the best conditions are when there is a “lid”, (much like a pot of boiling water wherein steam escapes until a cover is placed on top), or it is overcast, so fire dangers are expected to be low.
If in doubt about the source of smoke or fire, call 9-1-1 or 877-WARN-DEP (877-927-6337)

Show quoted text

Show quoted text

Desiree Dunn
Desi L. Dunn, Writer
Managing Editor at Desiree L. Dunn, LLC

Born & educated in NY with an Environmental Science degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Desi's family resides in Hardwick with a young teen and several spoiled pets. Considering northwest Jersey to be a true gem, her commitment to the people and environs is exemplified by the many different jobs she's had - municipal & county official, election clerk, open space plan writer, newspaper & radio journalist, grant writer, events coordinator and farm market manager as well as retail, waitressing, archaeological digger and once for a short while in a very huge warehouse.

Her favorite was as a reporter for many years with the Recorder newspapers, Blairstown Press, Paulinskill Chronicle, Gannett publications plus WNTI Public Radio producing public affairs and human interest stories on-air.

She often has her camera ready to capture interesting people and events. She's thrilled to now serve as RVE's Managing Editor, helping fellow writers hone their skills and show you the issues as well as treasures that exist in North Warren, through their eyes.