LIVINGSTON COUNTY – An annual open burn ban established by the Department of Environmental Conservation in 2009 is in effect from March 15 until May 15 for this year, and is designed to help protect people and property from fires that can possibly spring up as a result of garbage or brush burning by residents.
A National Weather Service hazardous weather Red Flag Warning is in effect for Monday for all of Western New York and the Finger Lakes, from noon to 4 p.m. with fire advisories extending until Sunday May 10 since the dryness of the air combined with blustery winds create a perfect storm for fires to start and spread quickly, or for well-intended and legal burns to get out of hand.
“I would encourage people to check the regulations before they burn,” said Chief Andrew Chanler with the Geneseo Fire Department. “Even permitted burning for agricultural purposes can pose a danger right now due to the dry conditions.
The DEC rules are that campfires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width or diameter are allowed as well as small cooking fires and ceremonial or celebratory bonfires, but these cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished.
Only charcoal or clean, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.
In towns with a total population less than 20,000, you may burn tree limbs with attached leaves. The limbs must be less than 6 inches in diameter and 8 feet in length (also referred to as brush). However, this is not allowed from March 16 through May 14 due to the increased risk of wildfires.
PHOTO CAPTION: (Photo/Conrad Baker)