The New York State Department of Conservation reminds residents that there is a “no burn” policy on in New York State through May 14.
The annual springtime ban has been in effect since 2009, and has resulted in 42.6% fewer wildfires over an 8-year average. It also has decreased the burden on volunteer firefighters who often have to leave jobs to fight wildfires caused when fires get out of control and burn dry grass and leaves, with little green vegetation to slow the flames. In communities of less than 20,000 burning of brush may be allowed (unless prohibited by local ordinance), but never during the springtime ban which this year runs from March 16 to May 14.
Forest Rangers, DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs), and local authorities will be enforcing the burn ban. Violators of the state’s open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. To report environmental law violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332), or report online on DEC’s website.