A controlled burn of Lake Lenape Park in Mays Landing was set for Friday afternoon — the first of four in the next few months as a precaution toward preventing forest fires, officials announced.

The burn was scheduled to begin around 1:30 p.m. on 14 acres of the county park.

“We have alerted residents in the immediate area,” Atlantic County spokeswoman Linda Gilmore said.

The burn was conducted jointly between the county parks division and New Jersey Forest Fire Service. Officials also plan to conduct three other burns in Estell Manor and the Cologne section of Hamilton Township sometime between now and March 15, Gilmore said.

A controlled burn helps to prevent wildfires by reducing the amount of dead leaves and broken tree branches available should a fire break out in the forest.