Barrens of fire

dragoncjo

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Aug 12, 2005
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Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't a good thing for the pines to burn. I realize some people homes may be endanger, but just looking at the pines isn't it essential for the flora and fauna. I thought i read somewhere that overtime without fire it would turn to a oak forest.
 
Apr 6, 2004
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Dragon, nature has her way of sustaining the Pines through fire, but nature didn't start this fire. I don't think man-made fires are necessarily good for the Barrens.
 

LongIslandPiney

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Jan 11, 2006
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Reminds me of the big fire we had on Long Island out in Westhampton. According to what I've heard, the fire started in Warren Grove around routes 539 & 72, I'm amazed at how far it has traveled, all the way to Barnegat already (I'm assuming the developments off W.Bay ave west of GSP are in danger).
Finding the exact areas involved, I don't know, but Wells Mills could be in danger as well.
This looks to be one of the biggest fires in the NJ Pine Barrens I've ever seen. Reminds me so much of what we went through here in 1995, the fires burned most of Sarnoff and Westhampton woodlands.
Anyway folks down there keep us updated. Alot of ppl are affected in Barnegat and all those areas. The smoke in that area must be bad, Toms River is prob getting affected too. I wouldn't be suprised if the smoke made it as far north as long island, the SW wind trajectory would take it over nassau and west suffolk.
It's a shame to see all those beautiful piney woods burn, and the folks involved in the military exercise that started it will be held responsible, especially as people lose property. How they would be sending out flares in a high fire danger time is ridiculous!
At the same time fire in the pines is a good thing, stimulating the pitch pine cones to open up and spread their seeds. It helps keep the pines dominating, and by the end of this year a forest of new seedlings will be growing in.
Those photos of route 72 on the news remind me alot of route 31 in Westhampton, they look like dwarf pines. And fire is a crucial part of the dwarf pines. I think because so much time has gone by without a fire, it is why it is so bad there right now.
It's a shame such beautiful woodlands are being used for bombing practice though, ideally I'd like to see it turned into a park. But I guess it's better as it is now than being developed.
Anyone know if or what state or county lands have been burned so far? I'm sure we'll know more tomorrow.
 

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Typical high quality journalism from the CP... either their news is really old or the reporter confused the 2,500 homes which were evacuated with the acreage which has burned. Another reason I don't read that paper...

Meanwhile, fire officials are keeping an anxious eye on today's weather and its impact on the fire that's already consumed more than 2,500 acres
Here's a better update: http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates/fire/

WHAT: A massive wildfire has consumed about 13,500 acres, almost 20 square miles, of brush and pine forest in southern New Jersey.

WHERE: Fire is burning along the border of Burlington and Ocean counties about 25 miles north of Atlantic City.

WHEN: The fire started about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday on the Warren Grove Gunnery Range, a 9,400-acre expanse of sand and scrub pine used for aerial bombing practice by Air National Guard units.

HOW: The New Jersey Air National Guard said a flare dropped from one its F-16s may have started the blaze.

PEOPLE: No deaths or injuries have been attributed to the fire, but it has forced the evacuation of about 2,500 homes, destroyed three homes, and damaged about 15 others. Nearly 700 people remained in shelters Wednesday.
 
Oct 25, 2006
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That update i agree,is alot better than the courier's.The drudge report also is alot better than the couriers.
 

GermanG

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Apr 2, 2005
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Little Egg Harbor
A few years ago, I took part in a tour of the base given by its past commander, along with Walt Bien from Drexel U., who some of you might know. Despite whatever problems the base may create, like setting the woods on fire or shooting up my daughter's school, they have some interesting things going on there enviromental-wise. Walt, along with several graduate students, has been managing and mapping threatened and endangered plant habitat there. They've also been radio monitoring T&E snakes on the base. They have re-planted disturbed sites with appropriate vegetation. All of these sites are given special consideration and protection from the Air Guard, and the work has been financially supported by the base. Their attitude has been that the protection and documentation of as many environmentally sensitive areas as possible on the base is to their benefit, as it might fend off future encroachment on the base on its perimimeters by development, which might furthur hinder their military mission. They certainly should be held accountable for any problems they cause, but the positive things they are doing should also be noted.
 
Oct 25, 2006
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Never knew those programs went on there,yes they are to be commended highly for that.Thank you for the info.Is stage road still open to traffic? Is munion field being affected?
 

Sue Gremlin

Piney
Sep 13, 2005
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Wow. Now that's a fire. Are there any NJPB members evacuated?

I had lunch with a bunch of Amish guys from Pennsylvania today and they were all talking about it. It must be pretty widespread news.
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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Despite whatever problems the base may create, like setting the woods on fire or shooting up my daughter's school, they have some interesting things going on there enviromental-wise.

The problem is that they just keep having blunders. They are going to have to learn that flares this time of the year just do not work. What does it take for them to see that? I am afraid that if they keep having these blunders there will be even more pressure for them to stop... which would be a crime. I hope nobody gets hurt or they may have some serious problems.

Guy
 
Oct 25, 2006
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The problem is that they just keep having blunders. They are going to have to learn that flares this time of the year just do not work. What does it take for them to see that? I am afraid that if they keep having these blunders there will be even more pressure for them to stop... which would be a crime. I hope nobody gets hurt or they may have some serious problems.

Guy
Were the personnel not aware of the high fire danger in effect,do they not coordinate with the fire service,maybe a fire alert sign needs to be put there,as guy is stating,and as i stated earlier in this post,flares at this time of the year should be a no go.Hopefully the rains will help the brave men and women fighting the fire put it out sooner than anticipated.Beside the blunders,nothing but kudos for our top guns.
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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A few people I work with were at Coyle Field filling the planes with water yesterday. The Medford Fire Company sat in a staging area for hours and didn't see any action.

Guy
 

LongIslandPiney

Explorer
Jan 11, 2006
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The good news is there are showers over the area right now, and the forecast calls for cool and damp weather the next couple of days which will help put these fires out. Like that guy at the press conference said, the only way these fires are going to be put out is by rainfall.
I see there are already calls for the gunnery range to be closed for good. This could be a bad move, especially if the land was to be developed. However, perhaps it could go the route of what we had here in Westhampton. The military often used that area for target practice, similar to what they do at Warren Grove, the county and state bought the land from the feds and preserved it as the Westhampton dwarf pine plains.
Preserving it would ensure that the new forest of pines, thicker than before, will grow back.
The progress, as you have seen on my photos, since 1995 has been great in Westhampton, the pines are already growing back nicely.
Another example that fire in the pine barrens is a force of renewal.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
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Little Egg Harbor
I just read that the planes are supposed to drop the flares from a higher altitude to ensure they burn out during times of high fire danger. It seems to me to make more sense to just not drop them during those times. I can understand the need for gunnery practice but how much practice does it take to eject a diversion flare from the plane?