BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Somerset County Park Commission Rangers and representatives for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection recently performed a “Controlled Burn” on 128.5 acres of Washington Valley Park in Bridgewater, NJ.
According to, “Prescribed fires, also known as prescribed burns or controlled burns, refer to the controlled application of fire by a team of fire experts under specified weather conditions that helps restore health to ecosystems that depend on fire.”
Led by Manager of the Park Rangers Dave Dendler and NJDEP Section Fire Warden George Efinger, the “controlled burn” at Washington Valley Park in Bridgewater near the Hawk Watch, was conducted to reduce fuel in the parkand create an urban interface fuel break. Without the controlled fire, the area would become less resilient, creating the potential for increased greenhouse gas emissions when catastrophic wildfires do occur.
According to Efinger, “An added benefit to the burn is that it eliminates invasive species of plants and creates a welcoming wildlife habitat.”
Dendler added, “We are grateful to George Efinger and his team. Protecting our parks and protecting our neighbors are our most important function and the contribution of NJDEP allows us to accomplish our goal.”
Information on Somerset County Park Commission activities and programs may be found at