Barnegat Firewise Council Reaching Out to Communities

May 23, 2018

Since forming two years ago, the Barnegat Township Wildfire Safety Council has held its quarterly meetings in the township committee meeting room. But the group is planning to hold some meetings at different locations, as was suggested at the council’s meeting on May 10. Mayor Frank Caputo, who is township committee liaison to the council, said the next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 9, at 1 p.m. at the Four Seasons at Mirage.

“If successful, the next meeting could be at the Horizons adult community,” said Caputo. “The meetings vary in the different topics being discussed. The main point stressed is to educate township residents with a better understanding regarding wildfires and other types of emergencies. At the May 10 meeting, our guest speakers were helicopter pilots from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.”

Mirage and Horizons are two of five township communities that have received a Firewise designation from the state Forest Fire Service. The others are Brighton at Barnegat, Pinewood Estates and Pheasant Run. The communities earned Firewise status by developing projects aimed at slowing or stopping the progress of a wildfire. The developments erected fuel breaks – gaps in vegetation that act as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a wildfire – and also cleared out underbrush and dead or diseased trees.

“Having the council meet in the communities is a great idea,” said Diane Schlegel, Firewise coordinator for Brighton. “It’s important to reach out because there could be residents who are not aware of these programs and how people must be prepared in case of a wildfire, because we have all learned that possibility very much exists.” —E.E.

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