NJDEP Notice – Use of Open Fires or Smudge Pots for Crop Protection from Freezing

IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
April 11, 2020 Lawrence Hajna (609) 292-2994

NEW JERSEY DEP ISSUES NOTICE FOR AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES USING OPEN FIRES OR SMUDGE POTS TO PROTECT CROPS FROM FREEZING

(20/P14) TRENTON โ€“ With overnight temperatures expected to be colder than seasonal averages, the New Jersey DEP has issued a new notice for New Jersey agricultural businesses for the use of open fires and smudge pots to prevent crops from freezing. However, the DEP cautions against using open burning in high winds.

The notice, issued April 10, is effective from Friday, April 10, through Sunday, April 19.
Open burning is only permitted when the temperature within the orchard area is at or below the critical temperature for the bud stage and wind velocity is less than 5 miles per hour.
The New Jersey DEP and New Jersey Forest Fire Service caution all farmers and agriculture businesses with respect to the use of open burning in high wind velocity conditions. High winds are expected this weekend (April 10-12, 2020) and farmers are encouraged to utilize smudge pots if warming is necessary during higher wind conditions. Use of open burning when wind velocity is greater than 5 mph is strictly prohibited, may contribute to wildfire risk, and can carry significant penalties.

The full notice โ€“ including information required to submit to the DEP and details on critical temperatures for bud stages โ€“ is available on the New Jersey Department of Agriculture website here:
https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/pdf/NJDEP%20Notice%20to%20Ag%20Businesses%20re%20Open%20Burning%2010APR2020.pdf

For the current fire danger in New Jersey, visit
https://njparksandforests.org/fire/firedanger-restrictions.htm.

To sign up for wildfire or prescribed burning email and text message alerts, visit www.AlertMeDEP.nj.gov.

Follow the DEP on Twitter @NewJerseyDEP. ###