Courtesy of the NJ Forest Fire Service
Warren Grove Fire (2007)
On May 15, 2007 a wildfire that was ignited within the confines of the Warren Grove Gunnery Range in the East Pine Plains of the Pinelands burned over 15,550 acres in an area encompassing portions of Barnegat, Stafford, Bass River, Little Egg Harbor and Eagleswood Townships within the southerly portion of Ocean and easterly portion of Burlington Counties. The wildfire caused the destruction of 4 homes and the temporary evacuation of 1,000s of Pinelands residents. The wildfire alerted representatives from all levels of government, as well as the private sector, of the necessity to implement effective fire safety strategies to reduce the potential for and severity of repeat events. As a result, the Pinelands Commission, together with representatives from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, launched a Fire Safety Initiative.
The Fire Safety Initiative is designed to encourage communities throughout the Pinelands, with extensive expanses of Wildland-Urban Interface areas, to develop appropriate strategies to actively address wildfire potential. The objective of this program is to develop a model for strategic cooperation among those agencies that administer fire management regulations, actively mange forest areas and regulate local land use and development so that their combined efforts result in improved forest fire management and fire safety. To create a prototype for this cooperative model, Stafford and Barnegat Townships were invited to participate in the initial fire safety outreach effort. These two neighboring municipalities are located within close proximity of the Warren Grove Gunnery Range and the developed areas within these communities were at considerable risk during the Warren Grove wildfire. The Pinelands Commission and the New Jersey Forest Fire Service worked with these two municipalities to identify specific safety issues and develop an action plan of improved measures to mitigate fire hazards.
Fire Safety Initiative: Action Plan for Stafford and Barnegat Townships