Attention NJ Forest Fire Service

local vollie

Scout
Apr 6, 2011
46
3
Trenton Old Stock. The picture you posted was a firing break, with a plowed firing line. This was performed by the Range. As most of the posters on this website have no idea about fire management, I read with great amusement the name calling amongst them all. And they dare to call themselves "experts", "professionals", and the like. They obviously haven't a clue. You see, whenever there has been a major wildfire near or around the range, it has the possibility to become a major wildfire in minutes given the proper weather conditions. With the porous soil there, moisture diminishes rather quickly, especially behind a strong wind. Kudos for the range supervisor for having the forethought to make sensible decisions so as to maintain a wildfire should one occur. While it may appear unsightly to those on this forum, it is a welcome one to those of us who actually have to fight these forest fires, BEFORE life and property is threatened.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,516
231
42
camden county
It would be devastating to see the great city in the plains burned up, thanks.

Local we may not know much about fire management but likewise you know very little about ecology of the pines. I guess we can learn from eachother.
 

local vollie

Scout
Apr 6, 2011
46
3
dragoncjo.....I am fairly well versed in the ecology of the pines, but I am no expert. With that said, how about we insist that individuals refrain from name calling when they speak in regards to the NJFFS. While to the eye it may appear that their work seems reckless at times, I assure you that the safety and welfare of the citizens in their charge is at the forefront of everything they do. In all the postings I've read here, I've read nothing about the safety zone back off of Pancoast Rd. in Warren Grove, where state foresters made a safety strip along Hay Rd. averaging from 200-500 yards wide. Are they "reckless" also? This safety strip protects the Brighton at Barnegat and Pinewood Estates developments, as well as several Nursing and rehabilitation facilities. Had they been there BEFORE the Warren Grove fire in 2007, I'm quite certain that the homes that were destroyed might still be there. Its called being "proactive", rather than "reactive". As I stated in earlier posts, the NJFFS works hand in hand with the state foresters in regards to prescribed burns, and the planning that goes with them. I'm sure they would just appreciate a "Thank You" from time to time instead of people chastising them.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,100
4,191
Pines; Bamber area
You see, whenever there has been a major wildfire near or around the range, it has the possibility to become a major wildfire in minutes given the proper weather conditions.

What, is there something wrong with that?

Get the range off the plains. Move the people along 72. Stop the buildng. Warn people to not move there.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,516
231
42
camden county
Local is sort of agree with Bobpbx. There are places where building should not occur and the tinder box of the pine barrens is one of them. Just like a person who builds a house next to a river there are risks to living this close to an area that burns easily. As mentioned for prior for the pine barrens to exist along with the species there it needs to burn, its part of the process to maintaining the pine barrens.

Local I think what this comes down to is you are into protecting the human inhabitants of the pine barrens while I'm not. I'm into protecting the ecology and ecosystem that occurs in the barrens. I rarely comment on the NJFFS activities as I don't know much about what they do, but I do comment when it destroys the ecology out there. Like I said maybe we can learn from each other.

The real issue is builders are dirtbags and will build homes next to toxic waste if someone will buy it. They just build to build and make money and scar the land and people's quality of life.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,516
231
42
camden county
Also I'm not going to thank them. I go to the pine barrens because of the ecology and the species that exist there. They exist there because of the role of fire. I'm not going to thank someone who hinders their future existence. I don't live in the barrens, would love to but the risk of fire tells me to make a investment in a home elsewhere.
 

freerider

Explorer
Jan 3, 2008
271
11
Get rid of the range? Come on now.

Where will the drones be launched from?

Just go and make trenches and burn around the homes leave the other areas alone!
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,107
430
Little Egg Harbor
I’ve previously discussed the subject of posting on public forums with other individuals working in supervisory government positions. There is a good reason you see so few of them doing so, which mostly involves preserving their own sanity. While members of these forums have every right to post their views, many of them seem to have all the answers on how to manage public lands but none of the actual responsibility of doing so. If they did they would quickly find out how difficult and frustrating it is to balance the needs and desires of all the various interest groups with a stake in the land they manage. No matter what is done, someone is always unhappy with the outcome and the burden of criticism is a dark cloud perpetually hanging over those with that responsibility, regardless of whatever good is accomplished. Those who make statements to the effect that they only care about their pet issue and not about any others only invalidate their opinions, and would not last one week working in a position of management of any of these tracts in question.

My own personal opinions on these issues are rather strong and mirror many of those presented here, but I would only be able to act on those views if I was managing my own land or other private property. As we all know, New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation and there is little chance of managing most land as true wilderness no matter how much we would like to. While development is our biggest enemy, developers are only doing what the law allows them to do. And while I have no love for them and am often angered by their attempts to circumvent land use laws, those laws are and should be the target of our anger and energy, not the developers or the individuals and businesses who occupy their developments. Every one of us lives or works on habitat that was destroyed or degraded for our needs. Admit it or not, we are part of the “they” that need to be stopped from destroying habitat and making it impossible to manage adjacent land in any semblance of a natural manner. Agencies like the Forest Fire Service have no control over where development occurs, and has to continually adjust its activities in response to new development. As with most government agencies, they are doing so with declining staff and resources.

As for the range, I have taken part in several tours of their operation and have always come away impressed by the way it is managed. What goes on there is far more involved than what can be seen from it borders. Approximately 500 acres are cleared for bombing and gunnery training. The remaining land totaling close to 9000 acres is left as a buffer in its natural state, with much more protection from human disturbance than afforded most other public lands. Since 2001 the NJ Air National Guard has had a Natural Resource Management Plan in place to address management of the undisturbed land. This plan is partly overseen by professors and graduate students from Drexel University. They have conducted surveys identifying rare plant and animal populations, and their habitats on the range, and the Guard has adjusted its activities when necessary to protect these habitats. Sites of old disturbance have also been restored. The fire management plans at the range combine both ecological and wildfire protection goals, and allow for more intense fire than prescribed burns normally result in, with a goal towards perpetuating fire dependent species. I wider buffer is needed in these cases. The nature of the military activity is such that a wildfire is not totally preventable but breaks like the one being discussed also allow backfires to be safely lit to help contain wildfires. A narrow plow line may suffice for a winter prescribed burn, but not so in the case of a spring or summer wildfire, which usually occur on the highest wind days. That cleared line, while not pretty, will likely be inhabited in the future by the federally and state listed endangered Broom Crowberry, as well as other disturbance oriented plant and animal species. If I were to lead a nature walk through the plains in the future, that line would probably be one of the more fascinating routes to take.

Holy crap, that was a long post.That's my quota for March!
 
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local vollie

Scout
Apr 6, 2011
46
3
GermanG.....wells said. A truly relevant comment about the range and its ecosystem. While some posters here champion their opinions, many are without completely being thought through the entire process. By that I mean opinions are made without allowing for both pro and con, and seemingly resort to character bashing to attempt to make their point. Some on this site (namely one from Bamber), are so critical of people who live in the pines. Truth be told, his own home now sits on what was once part of the pines. My question is this. WHY does the Pinelands Commission continue to allow new homes to be built in the Pinelands? Seems this would be a good place for people to question exactly what these people are doing? Aren't they there to protect our interests in the Pine Barrens? No one wants to see these pine forests disappear. Unfortunately, until mankind can better manage themselves, there will always be a danger to these forest lands. And as long as man posts a threat, whether it be building or by fire, someone needs to be there to protect them. NJFFS is but one of the agencies. Their function is to keep the fire danger to a minimum. Sometimes they have to install a fire break to help control a wildfire, or a fireline to help in prescribed burning. It is a necessary evil. As GermanG stated, even the range has its own ecologists onsite to work hand in hand with the range, much the same that the NJFFS does. It's all planned. Instead of bickering like old wash women, why not trying to work jointly to ensure that these pristine places are here long after we're gone.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,459
2,721
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
If they did they would quickly find out how difficult and frustrating it is to balance the needs and desires of all the various interest groups with a stake in the land they manage.

Don't criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes.... because then you will be a mile away from him, and you'll have his shoes. :D
 
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manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
8,530
2,418
59
millville nj
www.youtube.com
Everyone in the pines should have to reconstruct their houses underground with at least two feet of dirt on top and ventilation systems installed.These houses would be very easy to heat and cool and would be fireproof with proper ventilation systems they would be safe in a wildfire.Of course this is not realistic but then again some here would say realism isn't my strong point anyway :)
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,100
4,191
Pines; Bamber area
Some on this site (namely one from Bamber), are so critical of people who live in the pines. Truth be told, his own home now sits on what was once part of the pines. My question is this. WHY does the Pinelands Commission continue to allow new homes to be built in the Pinelands?

It is a Pinelands Village. I did not designate it. I just take the opportunity of that fact to live here. If my house burned down, so be it. I realize the risk.

My criticism of the fireline practices of the NJFFS is fully warranted.
 

local vollie

Scout
Apr 6, 2011
46
3
So Bobpbx, by your post your motto must be don't do as I do, do as I say. Your convictions about the pinelands are warranted so long as it doesn't reflect on where you reside. Interesting.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,321
313
Near Mt. Misery
The fire management plans at the range combine both ecological and wildfire protection goals, and allow for more intense fire than prescribed burns normally result in, with a goal towards perpetuating fire dependent species. I wider buffer is needed in these cases. The nature of the military activity is such that a wildfire is not totally preventable but breaks like the one being discussed also allow backfires to be safely lit to help contain wildfires. !

are the more intense prescribed burns practiced at the range capable of reaching tempertures that open serotinous cones? If so the state FFS could benefit from that technique for use in state owned pine plains. Especially along route 72. I am sure I am not the only one to notice that the pines have been reaching greater and greater height along 72 with each passing year. Yet, as one moves south or north of 72, a more stunted pine is prevalent. It seems that this is not the case along 539 which has seen more frequent wildfires.

Local Vollie, (you are SFFS correct?) Has there been any discussion within the Forest Fire Service of developing and/or implementing a plan to provide enough sustained heat in a prescribed burn to positively achieve pyriscence serotiny? Has there been any discussion concerning the management plan at the range as I suspect there must certainly be open communication. In fact, is the state Forest Fire Service ever employed or borrowed by the Feds for the execution of these practices?

Jeff
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,100
4,191
Pines; Bamber area
So Bobpbx, by your post your motto must be don't do as I do, do as I say. Your convictions about the pinelands are warranted so long as it doesn't reflect on where you reside. Interesting.

I guess you mean the post above where I said move the people along 72. If they don't want a buy out, then they need to accept the same risk I do. But the NJFFS should not plow and scrape the Pine Plains into something unrecognizable as wilderness, or to rush out there with a can of water and put out every single fire at the source. You don't change an entire ecosystem due to a small number of buildings and dwellings that decided to move in to that type of area. Protect them instead by giving them a huge firebreak around their homes and along route 72...say...500 yards. What, is that not enough?
Using your logic, the State of California should hang up big metal sheets to keep the Santa Ana winds from fanning wildfires.

Firebreak72.PNG
 
Jul 12, 2006
1,311
302
Gloucester City, NJ
I'll admit to not carefully reading every single post in detail, but I do want to comment on the aspect of protecting the homes in the pines. I relate this to the same type of people that build homes on the ocean or at the waterfront. They know the risks and have to accept those risks AT THEIR OWN COST. Why should any government agency and tax dollars be set aside to protect the risk they've decided to take? You see this all the time in California too. People build houses in the side of mountains and expect full compensation when a mudslide occurs. You know the risk when building in the pines, along the water, in a mountain, etc. Accept those risks and don't expect someone to waste time, money and resources to protect your homes from acts of nature.
 
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