FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  April 16, 2012
Contact: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tina Casey, 908-527-4346

Union County Warns of Wildfire Hazards


Union County, NJ – With another week of dry weather ahead, Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella asked all County residents to be extremely cautious when using barbecue grills, outdoor power equipment, fire pits, candles, and torches.

“We are an urban area that is not usually subject to forest fire warnings, but these are unusually dry conditions,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “Fires can easily start in our parks and wooded areas, and spread to nearby homes. We are asking everyone to be especially vigilant.”

Last month a brush fire cropped up in Cranford, an unusual occurrence for Union County.

Last week a “High” fire danger rating was issued by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service for northern New Jersey  and it may be stepped up to “Extreme.”

Union County residents can help prevent wildfires in public parks by using only the elevated grills provided at designated areas for cooking with charcoal or wood. Keep extra water handy, watch the grill for sparks while cooking and douse the fire thoroughly when finished.

Cigarette smokers should dispose of their butts only in trash cans, portable ash trays or car ashtrays.

County residents who live next to parks and other wooded areas can help in the following ways:

> Exercise extra care with grills and candles or other decorative fires.

> Keep an eye out for sparks when using power mowers and other outdoor equipment.

> Dispose of cigarette butts properly.

> Keep property clear of debris and fire hazards.

Union County offers free drop-off days to collect used motor oil, paint thinner and other flammable substances from residents. For information call the recycling hotline, 908-654-9889 or visit ucnj.org/recycle.