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For Immediate Release: March 10, 1998 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


Extremely cold temperatures are forecast for this evening and the rest of the week which could seriously affect fruit crops in bloom or near bloom around the state. Therefore, NJDEP has authorized the following procedure for open burning to help fruit farmers protect their crops. No tires can be burned as part of this authorization.

No open burning will be permitted unless the temperature within the orchard area is at or below the critical temperature for the bud stage and the wind velocity is less than five miles per hour. Both conditions must be met before open burning may occur. The average temperature required to kill ten percent of the bloom (27 degrees) is defined as the critical temperature. Farmers may only conduct open burning with approved permits or approval from NJDEP. Farmers who believe that open burning is required to protect their blossoms or young buds MUST FIRST contact NJDEP's Office of Compliance and Enforcement, Administrator of Air and Environmental Quality, at (609) 633-7288 to request approval. After 5:00 p.m. the request should be made to NJDEP's 24-hour Communication Center at (609) 292-7172.

Farmers must provide the following information:

Name of the individual who is to conduct the open burning and/or the responsible party

Name of farm, street address (no P.O. Box), telephone number of farm contact Predicted orchard temperature in degree F and predicted wind speed Expected hours of open burning

Material which will be open burned

Farmers may use smudge pots or open burn clean scrap lumber (untreated), felled trees, prunings, hedgegrows, or fire wood. Farmers must make every effort to obtain and use approved smudge pots. These pots must be fueled with either kerosene or #2 fuel oil. No refuse trade waste, garbage, etc. is to be combined with the authorized burning material. Farmers will not be permitted to open burn tires to protect their fruit crops.

Once the open burning is completed, the farmer must contact either of the listed numbers to provide the identification used in the open burning request, the actual orchard temperature in degree Fahrenheit, actual wind speed at the orchard location and a statement that all restrictions in the open burning approval were followed.

Failure to adhere to these provisions may result in appropriate enforcement action.