Dry and windy New Jersey has been scorched by multiple brush fires since Friday, and weather officials say the state remains at risk into this week.
The warm and dry start to spring has set the perfect conditions for fires across the state, Acting State Fire Warden Michael Drake told NJ.com.
The National Weather Service implemented a "red flag" fire warning on Wednesday, and it remains in effect in all of New Jersey and Delaware, as well as large portions of Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York. The warnings extend as far south as Southern Virginia and north into New Hampshire.
The warning remains in place until 8 p.m. Monday, as low humidity and wind gusts of up to 40 mph are expected.
As of the start of the warning the New Jersey Forest Fire Service had already responded to 315 wildfires that have burned 254 acres this year, compared with 167 fires that burned 176 acres during the same period last year.
"We've been experiencing a series of weak cold fronts that bring little precipitation but cause higher winds and lower humidity that can dry out forest," said Forest Fire Service Acting Chief Michael Drake. "As a result, the Forest Fire Service is stepping up fire patrols, manning of fire observation towers, and other response capabilities."
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said in a release that in the state are caused by humans. It said that "wildfire risks increase with every new structure built in or adjacent to forests."
A fire was , a day after small brush fires in Teaneck. occurred in Mahwah overthe weekend.
There were wildfires over the weekend in Somerset, Ocean, Monmouth, Bergen, Sussex, Warren, Morris, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Cape May counties.