New Jersey’s Wildfire Threat: As Development Continues in Fire-Prone Areas

Pastor Joe Serratelli was shocked to see his church surrounded by fire in April. Fortunately, local firefighters saved the Building on the Rock Community Church. Serratelli felt relieved and grateful but realized how much the community relies on heroes like firefighters.

Rise in Wildfires

The church sits in an area where urban development mixes with wildlands, making it prone to fires. There’s been an increase in wildfires across New Jersey, partly due to more homes being built near these fire-prone zones.

Wildfire risk rises in New Jersey as development continues in fire-prone areas:

Growing Risk

Experts predict more properties will face wildfire risks in the next 30 years. Nearly a quarter of homes in New Jersey, including many in Ocean County, are in high-risk zones. Areas like where the church stands face significant danger.

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Safe Zones and Clear Roofs

Experts suggest steps like cleaning roofs and creating safe zones around buildings to protect properties. Programs help communities prepare evacuation plans and adapt to wildfire threats. Firefighters are also trained to handle these specific types of fires.

Increasing Challenges

As more areas face wildfire risks due to development, resources might be stretched thin. However, recent funding boosts aim to support firefighting efforts and enhance surveillance.

Community Support

One church member, Nicco Pecorelli, who is a volunteer firefighter, helped save the church. He believes New Jersey is experiencing challenges similar to states with intense wildfire seasons like California and Colorado. He emphasizes the importance of community support in facing these growing risks.

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