Last Friday, the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service came out to the YMCA Camps of Medford to help us protect our 700 acres of Pinelands Property. A controlled burn, which is the process of setting small, circular fires (under the very watchful eyes of trained NJ Forest Fire Fighters) is one of the best ways to ensure future fires have very little fuel to burn out of control. Around 11am, the 1st controlled burn was set near the Matollionequay land sports field and sub sequential burns were set towards Camp Ockanickon. All-in-all, about 150 acres were burned in this process, leaving behind a black charred ground, and the opportunity for our forest to grow healthier in the years to come.

When I spoke with Mike Dzwill, Camps Property Director, he told me that this was an amazing opportunity for Camp to have offered by the State. These controlled burns are extremely safe and help keep the property safe for community. The State usually comes out every couple of years and offers us this service, which might look scary to the people who do not know what going on, but we take the steps to make sure everybody is aware of what’s going on.

For me, it smelled like camp was having a big-old campfire, and with the winds blowing south, you would have never known part of camp was getting a controlled burn. The next morning, I took a walk through camp to see what a controlled burn looks like…here are some pictures from that walk. If you are interested in reading some more about forest fire safety, please take a look at the following link: