VIDEO: New Jersey Forest Fire Service Helps Control Montana Wildfires


MAYS LANDING - The United States Forest Service requested Larry Birch from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service and 19 other Mays Landing area firefighters to help control the wildfires in Montana.

“It went to a level five, so they were so in need of resources, and we went out," said Birch. "We ended up sending two crews out, two hand crews, and three of our water tenders. Our out west program, the state’s out west program, we go out and suppress the out west fires, or help support them.”

Birch works for the Forest Fire Service in Hamilton Township by watching over South Jersey for forest fires. With 15 years experience, Birch worked for two weeks with his crew working around the clock to help control the wildfires in Montana.

“You’re a little nervous," said John Knapp, Fire Observer, New Jersey Forest Fire Service. "The terrain is a lot different than it is here, so it’s a lot higher, elevation is a lot different, trees were a lot taller so the flame lengths were a lot larger, a lot wider. We’re more than happy to be out there, to help out, I mean, that’s what we go out there for.”

Crew members dug hand lines for a fire break, while others worked on engines. Despite the hot weather and steep landscape, the team accomplished calming down the blaze.

SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.