With the Hilltop Conservancy working as hard as it is to restore Verona’s western ridge, it is a shame to see this happen. This past Thursday evening, a little after 6 p.m., the Verona Fire Department was called to deal with a fire in the Hilltop’s 10-acre meadow site, which is just west and north of the new area that is being covered with mulch. The VFD quickly put out the flames, but because grass fires burn hot and fast (and the day was windy), the fire consumed about an acre of the restoration site before it was put out.
According to Theresa Trapp, the Conservancy’s treasurer, an investigation by the Essex County Sheriff’s Department determined that the fire was started by a discarded cigarette.
Because of the lack of snow this winter and rain this spring, the Hilltop and all of Verona is very dry. Please be careful with your cigarette butts, matches and lighters. Call 9-1-1 if you see a fire on any open ground, and, if you are on the Hilltop, call the Sheriff’s Department dispatcher at 973-621-8813 to report, vandalism, unauthorized vehicles, graffiti or other concerns.