Fires Break Out Across New Jersey As Warnings Continue
More than two dozen brush fires reported over past three days as a "red flag" warning remains in place.
Dry and windy New Jersey has been scorched by more than two dozen brush fires since Friday, and weather officials say the state remains at risk into this week.
The warm and dry start to spring has set the perfect conditions for fires across the state, Acting State Fire Warden Michael Drake told NJ.com.
Breaking News Network, which monitors scanners and sends news flashes to its subscribers, reported 18 brush fires between Saturday and Sunday.
The National Weather Service implemented a fire warning on Wednesday, and it remains in effect in all of New Jersey and Delaware, as well as large portions of Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York. The warnings extend as far south as Southern Virginia and north into New Hampshire.
The "red flag" warning remains in place until 8 p.m. Monday, as low humidity and wind gusts of up to 40 mph are expected.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said in a release that 99 percent of wildfires in the state are caused by humans. It said that "wildfire risks increase with every new structure built in or adjacent to forests."
The number of wildfires had already been 25 percent ahead of the 2011 pace before the spate of fires this past weekend, with 359 fires burning 286 acres of land.
There were wildfires over the weekend in Somerset, Ocean, Monmouth, Bergen, Sussex, Warren, Morris, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Cape May counties.