Two New Jersey fire departments use social media to recruit and spread safety message

Above: A screenshot from the video shot produced by Carolyn Rizza about texting and driving.

At least two fire departments in New Jersey are using social media in their efforts to recruit volunteers and spread messages about safety.

The website has an article about how the Amwell Valley Fire Company and the Township of Clinton are tapping the powers of Facebook and YouTube to interact with their customers.

This first video, about texting and driving, was made by 20-year old Carolyn Rizza, a volunteer firefighter with the Amwell Valley Fire Company as part of a scholarship contest.

The Township of Clinton Division of Fire produced the next video in an effort to recruit new members.

This is a good time to revisit something we posted on February 1, 2017. It is a description of the culture of firefighting in Chile, a country where almost all of the firefighters are volunteers. It was written by “scpen” who left it as a comment below one of the articles we wrote about the 747 SuperTanker assisting the Chilean firefighters.


“The tradition of the volunteer fire fighters in Chile is a very old one. To become a volunteer firefighter there is a waiting list in every single town and city across Chile, and it often takes years to get an open slot, typically another member must sponsor the person applying. It is seen as more important and patriotic than volunteering to join the military. It is for life. Even old firefighters that are no longer able to fight fires, still show-up for training and other activities, or help with administration. Often until they die.

At the core, is a sort of belief that fighting fires and rescuing people is such an honor, and so important, that a paid, “professional” group, of fire fighters would not take it so seriously (correct or mistaken). It is not something that can be trusted to the vagaries of government ministers, budget cuts, and so on.

That said, the volunteer departments equipment is mostly provided by the government. Simply the firefighters receive donations in yearly fund raising drives, that they divided between them and is viewed as a thank you for their service through-out the year.

They do receive professional level training. Experts from the around the World are brought in to for training. Firefighters join specialized brigades such as dealing with chemical hazards, high-rise rescues, and so on.

This is not just a bunch of guys standing on the street corner they pick-up, and hand them a garden hose.”

New Jersey: prescribed fire at Delaware Water Gap

On April 6th, 2016, wildland firefighters from multiple agencies worked with personnel from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to help reduce the number of invasive plants on 200 acres near Walpack Center, New Jersey. They expect the treatment will give native plant species the chance to repopulate and thrive.

Roundup of wildfire activity in the eastern United States

While most areas in the western United States, with the exception of parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, wait for their fuels and weather to dry out, many firefighters in the east have been busy lately. The Intelligence section at the National Interagency Fire Center is too busy this time of the year to issue a daily Situation Report, so we assembled information about a number of fires east of the Mississippi River.

A prescribed fire conducted by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) that got out of control in Blount County on Wednesday has burned 400 to 500 acres as of Thursday morning. TWRA officials said the wind picked up unexpectedly while they were treating a unit in the Foothills Wildlife Management area.

A fire in the Cherokee National Forest has burned 150 acres six miles north of Unicoi. Additional aircraft, dozers, engines, and firefighters have been ordered. (The tweet below is about this fire.)

North Carolina
Mike Martin’s brush pile he was burning behind his house Wednesday near Etowah escaped as winds blew flames onto his porch. He went to grab two five-gallon buckets of water, but by the time he returned it was too late. He tried to go into the house to retrieve his car keys, but the fire was too hot. Both the Ford SUV and the house were destroyed even though the fire department responded quickly from their station two miles away.

A fire in the Nature Conservancy’s Nags Head Woods Preserve blackened about 250 acres on the Outer Banks. It started on March 22 and spread for three days.

New Jersey
A wind-driven brush fire burned 86 acres in Port Republic Wednesday afternoon. With help from two water-dropping helicopters, about 30 firefighters stopped the spread.

Wildfire forced evacuations near Hammonton, New Jersey

(UPDATED at 8:25 a.m. EDT, May 8, 2015)

Radio transmissions from firefighters on the wildfire seven miles northeast of Hammonton, New Jersey early Friday morning indicate that the firelines are holding, preventing additional spread of the fire. At 5 a.m. there was a heavy fog in the area, which will act like a wet blanket on the fire.


(UPDATED at 10:30 p.m. EDT, May 7, 2015)

Hammonton, New Jersey wildfire
The fire near Hammonton, New Jersey as seen from the cockpit of Air Tanker Charlie 1.

These two photos of the fire seven miles northeast of Hammonton, New Jersey were sent to us by Curt Nixholm, of Downstown Aero. They were shot at about 3:50 p.m. on May 7 from the cockpit of Charlie 1, their Air Tractor 602 air tanker on contract to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

Hammonton, New Jersey wildfire
The fire near Hammonton, New Jersey as seen from the cockpit of Air Tanker Charlie 1.

There is a report from New Jersey 101.5, at 9:50 p.m., that the fire has been contained.


(Originally published at 5:45 p.m. EDT, May 7, 2015)

A large wildfire seven miles northeast of Hammonton, New Jersey forced evacuations at 2 p.m. EDT in the southern part of the state east of Route 206 between Stokes and Atsion Roads. The State Police closed Route 206 for several hours but expected to open it again around 6 p.m. EDT. The evacuations were lifted at about 5:15 p.m. EDT when extensive burnout operations stopped the spread on one side of the 710-acre fire.

Hammonton fire
Firefighters conduct burnout operations along roads to stop the spread of a fire northeast of Hammonton, New Jersey, May 7, 2015. Photo from Myfoxphilly.

The photo above clearly shows a burnout as a straight line following roads.

Hammonton fire map
The red square shows the approximate location of heat detected by a satellite at 3:27 p.m. EDT. The wildfire is on the east side of Route 206, 7 miles northeast of Hammonton, and 26 miles southeast of Philadelphia.

International researchers study fire in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens

In 2014, with assistance from the New Jersey State Forestry Services, U.S. Forest Service and international researchers from the United Kingdom and Russia teamed up to collect data on a prescribed fire in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. The fire’s embers, or commonly known as fire brands, were one important aspect of the study.

Wildfire briefing, April 24, 2014

Fire in New Jersey

A vegetation fire in New Jersey has burned about 1,500 acres in the Edward G. Bevan Fish and Wildlife Management Area. At least one single engine air tanker and a helicopter have been assisting the firefighters on the ground. 

The Random Ramblings blog has some photos that were taken from an air tanker operated by Downstown Aero. Other photos can be found at ABClocal.

Homes at risk in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs has released a map showing the areas in the city that are most at risk from wildland fire. A homeowner can use the map to zoom in to see their individual parcel, rated anywhere from low risk to extreme risk.

More cities should provide maps like this.

Wildfire risk, Colorado Springs

In the last two years wildfires in Colorado Springs have killed four residents and burned 833 homes.

One person killed in wildfire in Nepal

One person was killed and 42 homes burned in a wildfire near Illam, Nepal.


ILLAM, APR 23 – A person died on the spot while two others were injured seriously when a huge stone fell on them from a cliff above as they were extinguishing forest fire in Bhanjo-1 of the district.

In the incident that took place on Wednesday morning, Ram Kumar Rai, 55, of Banjho-1 was killed while Ranjit Rai, 23 and Bhadra Maya Rai, 50 were injured, according to the Area Police Office, Mangalbare.

Meanwhile, fire engulfed 42 houses at Inaruwa VDC of Saptari district this morning. The fire that broke out from a cowshed of Dhaneshwro Mandal spread to 42 houses belonging to 22 households.