New Jersey fire officials on Tuesday proclaimed that wildfire volume in the state is calmer than usual in 2024.

On the same day, two notable fires broke out and provided some backing to the warning by officials that wildfire trends can change in an instant.

As of noon Wednesday, a wildfire burning in the area of Old Mine Road in Warren County was 75% contained. The "Old Mine Wildfire" burned through 30 acres, but experts don't expect the fire to grow, according to an update on social media.

Late Tuesday afternoon, officers responded to a brush fire on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike in Elizabeth. Fire departments were able to extinguish the fire. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, according to New Jersey State Police.

NJ wildfire season

Peak wildfire season in New Jersey typically runs from mid-March through mid-May. The trees haven't leafed up, giving the sun a direct path to the forest floor, and humidity is typically low.

Due to extremely wet conditions in the Garden State, including a damp start to April, the wildfire count so far in 2024 is low compared to previous years.

Coming into Tuesday, the state had recorded 218 wildfires that burned approximately 170 acres. At the same time last year, nearly a thousand acres had burned as the result of 358 fires.

"Consider that 99% of all wildfires are started by people, whether intentionally or accidentally — poor weather and delayed spring are keeping people inside," said Greg McLaughlin, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's administrator for forests and natural lands.

According to the research nonprofit Climate Central, the annual number of "fire weather days" has risen by 10 in the northern segment of New Jersey and by four days in the southern portion of the state, due to changing weather conditions.

"Recognizing the changing climate, we increasingly see dry conditions between heavy rainfalls in what we have come to known as flash droughts," said John Cecil, DEP's assistant commissioner for state parks, forests and historic sites.

Forest fire season in 2023 was New Jersey's busiest in more than a decade. Fourteen fires were considered "major" because they burned more than 100 acres.

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