RINGWOOD, NJ (CBSNewYork) – The forest fire risk is high in New Jersey and WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell paid a visit to the state’s forest fire service up in Ringwood.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell On The Story

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It’s 65 steps up here to the top of the Ramapo fire tower, at which point you’re at an elevation of 1,000 feet, and when you get up there, the view is spectacular.

Ramapo Fire Tower - Ringwood, NJ - Mar 12, 2012 (credit: Peter Haskell / WCBS 880)

Ramapo Fire Tower - Ringwood, NJ - Mar 12, 2012 (credit: Peter Haskell / WCBS 880)

“The pointiest building out in the distance there, that’s the Empire State. So that’s about 25 to 30 miles from here,” said district warden John Carbone. “That’s straight into Manhattan.”

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Carbone says this is a particularly vulnerable time of the year and we’ve had a very dry winter.

So what he does is go up there to the top of the tower, and look for smoke.

“Generally fire will just keep building, and once it gets to a point, it just starts building exponentially,” he said.

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Carbone says it might be low tech, but it works.