If you see or smell smoke around Ocean County it's nothing to worry about. It means you're less likely to see it in the dry summer months ahead, when it would be a major worry.

Forest Fire Service at a brush fire (TheLakewoodScoop.com)

New Jersey Forest Fire Service crews are conducting controlled burns in wooded spots from Atlantic up through Middlesex Counties through March 15.

Controlled burns involve the igniting of dry underbrush to prevent possible future fires.

People driving the Parkway in the vicinity of Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor saw black plumes of smoke this afternoon. On Sunday, people in downtown Toms River could see it rising from Manchester and points west.

The burns take place weather-permitting, meaning rainless with low winds. The burn season ends in less than two weeks.