Wildfire northeast of Bass River, NJ burns over 600 acres

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Ballanger Fire New Jersey
Ballanger Fire. Photo by NJ Forest Fire Service May 16, 2021.

A fire that started May 16 in Eastern New Jersey burned 617 acres before firefighters from several departments in Ocean and Burlington Counties stopped the spread at 10 a.m. on May 17. The blaze is about three miles northeast of Bass River, between the Garden State Parkway and US Route 9.

To contain the fire, crews conducted burnout operations on Stage Road, Otis Bog Road, Munion Field Road, and along US Route 9. Firefighters also constructed firelines to secure some of the 30 homes that were threatened.

Map of the Ballanger Fire
Map of the Ballanger Fire near Bass River, NJ.

The fire consumed approximately 243 acres on the Bass River State Forest and 374 acres of private land.

The resources included 13 Type 6 Engines (Brush Trucks), 1 bulldozer, 1 Water Tender, 1 helicopter (observation), and 8 cooperative fire engines.

Ballanger Fire New Jersey
Ballanger Fire. Photo by NJ Forest Fire Service May 16, 2021.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Wildfire northeast of Bass River, NJ burns over 600 acres”

  1. I was curious about all that protection on the brush truck. They build them themselves, apparently. “The New Jersey Forest Fire Service has a long history of battling brush and
    forest fires in the rural pine barren forested central areas of the state. Much like southeastern Massachusetts and Long Island, NY, New Jersey has some very significant forest fire history and potential.

    The New Jersey style brush trucks are typically modified pickup type vehicles with pumps and a couple hundred gallons of water and some light bar work to provide protection for the vehicle. These have evolved over the years from the Dodge Power Wagons and similar vehicles of the past. There are also larger military style chassis trucks and a variety of dozers, plows used to cut fire lines, and air support units.” More rig photos https://www.capecodfd.com/PAGES%20Special/Apparatus-New_Jersey_Brush_Trucks_122115_p1.htm

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    1. You will see the same types of protection on brush units in the pine barrens of Long Island as well. I was with one of the Rocky Mountain IMT’s who managed a large fire on Long Island in 1995. We saw first hand how the local VFD’s used those trucks in the pines. The trees aren’t that big and they just rammed their way through the forest. At that time they weren’t very skookum about tactics and were fighting the fire by doing frontal assaults with those trucks. They had burned over 6 of them by the time we got there.

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