A New Jersey firefighter remains hospitalized after battling a wildfire in Lakewood, NJ
Cape May Court House, NJ | Monday, March 15, 2021 — The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for most of New Jersey, including Cape May County, which will remain in effect until 5pm EST. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are expected due to a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels. Any fires that develop may quickly get out of control and become difficult to contain.
The forecast for today is for winds out of the Northwest at 10-20 mph with gusts of up to 25 mph. Combined with relative humidity dropping to 10-20 percent, the gusty winds, very dry air and very dry fuels will combine to create conditions favorable for the rapid spread of wildfires.
The New Jersey Forest Fire Service (FFS) reported that as of 10:30 p.m. Sunday, March 14, the Lakewood area wildfire remained at 170 acres. The FFS said the would continue suppression, patrol and mop-up operations throughout the night and support from local fire companies would be scaled back throughout Sunday night as containment increases. The origin has been identified and the cause is under investigation, though we can state it was not from a prescribed burn as reported inaccurately online.
Two mixed-use professional/commercial structures were destroyed by the fire. While the wildfire came close to residential areas, no homes were substantially damaged though some ancillary structures such as sheds were impacted. Residents in the affected areas are urged to stay away from impacted areas and emergency response activity. Drones of any kind interfere with the fire-fighting effort and are prohibited in the area. Brick Township residents who were evacuated began returning home at 7:00 p.m. Sunday.
A New Jersey Forest Fire Service firefighter is in critical condition at a nearby hospital.
For more information about wildfire danger, burn restrictions, and wildfire prevention and education, please visit your state forestry or environmental protection website.