Penn State Forest Fire Currently in Containment


By Jeremy Hedian, Staff Writer

A forest fire in Penn State Forest ignited last Friday and continues to shred through the forest with containment still underway.

Penn State Forest is a forest underneath the Pine Barrens in Burlington County, New Jersey. As of last Saturday night, the fire was reportedly burning through 5,000 acres of land and spreading through even more land. The cause of this is high wind speeds and incredibly dry weather.

As a result of the fire, portions of New Jersey’s Route 72 were closed Sunday morning. The National Weather Service claims that residents of New York will be capable of perceiving the smoke and even smelling it from a distance. Fortunately, the cold and rainy weather blew the smoke offshore.

Statistics show that about 50 percent of the forest fire has been contained by firefighters, who have been hard at work to completely contain it. There are no reports of any deaths or injuries, and no evacuations have been made to any residents in the New Jersey area.

Forest fires have been a major pestilence since human expansion and still remain a huge problem in the US, especially in the West. Last year, the Cal Fire was an infamous fire that killed nearly 85 people and destroyed about 14,000 homes on the west coast. The causes of these fires are still heavily speculated today in the US.

“Illegal campfires, cigarettes being thrown on the ground… there are a variety of ways forest fires could start,” said   Christopher Foglio, a science professor at WHHS. “Citizens should pay attention to the environment, especially for dry conditions.”

Residents or inhabitants of rural areas in the US should keep an eye on their beloved forests and the conditions in which combustion is more likely to occur. The best way to prevent such fires is to prohibit the use of cigarettes or campfires in areas like national parks or forests and to heavily enforce the prohibition.