HomeBerlin NewsFirefighters use prescribed burn to enhance ecology

Firefighters use prescribed burn to enhance ecology

A firefighter ignites the controlled blaze to initiate a burn at Berlin Park on March 20.

In collaboration with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service, Camden County authorities planned a prescribed burn in the borough’s Berlin Park on March 20.

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The burn by the fire service began at about 9 a.m. and was closely monitored through its conclusion at 1 p.m. County Commissioner Jeffrey Nash, who serves as the liaison to the county parks department, emphasized the significance of prescribed burns in maintaining ecological balance and mitigating the risk of forest fires.

“Prescribed burns are an important tool in keeping our lands ecologically healthy and minimizing the risk of forest fires,” he explained. “We will be updating residents through each step of this process to ensure everyone is on the same page.”

In the face of escalating wildfire threats and the urgent need for ecosystem management, prescribed burns have emerged as a vital strategy for safeguarding communities and nurturing biodiversity. They have the capacity to mitigate fire risks by methodically reducing excess vegetation and fuel accumulation, and create indispensable fire breaks, curbing the potential devastation of uncontrolled wildfires.

Prescribed burns – also known as controlled burns – are carefully managed according to a set of conditions known as a prescription, which takes into account public and fire personnel safety, weather conditions and the likelihood of achieving burn objectives. Precautions are taken not only to ensure safety but also ecological stewardship.

The burns – conducted under rigorous protocols – also contribute to long-term carbon sequestration efforts. While emitting carbon dioxide in the short term, they stimulate the growth of healthier vegetation, ultimately enhancing carbon storage capacities and mitigating climate change impacts.

Other benefits of prescribed burns are a reduction in the chances of more severe fires, enhancing water availability by removing certain plant species, promoting plant diversity, managing invasive species, alleviating tree competition and enhancing wildlife habitat.

County officials urge residents to remain informed about the prescribed burn operation through social media.


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