Brush Fire Ban Over, but Don’t Get Burned by Carelessness

LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)’s annual burn ban has officially ended, but clear, hot days like Wednesday are reminders that wildfire hazards are still there.

According to a press release from the DEC, their burn ban is over but residents should use caution whenever burning brush. Residents of all Livingston County towns (statewide, towns with populations below 20,000) may now burn brush unless prohibited by local law.

“If residents decide to burn brush, consider burning when conditions are more favorable such as during or soon after a rain event, when there is little or no wind to spread the flames, and remember never leave a fire unattended and always be sure the fire is completely out,” said the DEC in their release. “DEC encourages residents to mulch or compost brush along with other yard waste. In rural areas brush piles can provide habitat for wildlife.”

The DEC’s fire safety tips are:

• Check and obey all local laws and ordinances;
• Never burn garbage, non-woody materials or painted or treated wood. It creates
a public health hazard and is illegal in most places;
• Burn early in the morning when humidity is high and winds are low;
• Clear all flammable material for a distance of 10 to 15 feet around the material to
be burned;
• Keep piles to be burned small, adding small quantities of material as burning
progresses; and
• Always have a garden hose, shovel, water bucket, or other means to extinguish
the fire close at hand.

Follow these steps to ensure a fire is extinguished: 1) Drown the fire with water making sure all materials, embers and coals are wet; 2) Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again.

The scene of a grass fire in Geneseo on March 8, 2016. (Photo/Conrad Baker)