HAMILTON TOWNSHIP—It’s 143 steps up to fire observer Larry Birch’s office each day.
One hundred feet above the prickly green carpet of the Pinelands below, he spends his days each spring atop the Mizpah fire tower in Hamilton Township.
He watches for smoke in one of the most flammable regions in the country in the heart of spring brush fire season.
“In a matter of minutes, we’re dispatching firefighters to the hot spots, and minutes matter,” said Birch, from atop his 92-year-old tower that provides unlimited visibility of the South Jersey Pinelands.
“There are times that we’ve already located a fire, dispatched crews, and firefighters have already arrived before the....Continue Reading