The NYS DEC is once again enforcing the annual burn ban from March 16 through May 14. During this time, NYS is especially vulnerable to wildfires, with nearly half of all serious wildfires happening in the spring. As the snow melts to reveal fall’s dry leaves and downed branches, warm temperatures, and low humidity increase the risk of fires spreading. The annual burn ban temporarily prohibits burning residential brush to reduce the risk of wildfires across the state.
Not all fires are banned from March 16 through May 14, though. Fires used for cooking and camping are allowed if they are fueled by charcoal or untreated wood. Check your local regulations before starting any fire, as rules can differ from community to community.
In NYS, 95-percent of wildfires are caused by human activity. Take steps to create a safer campfire by avoiding burning on windy days and keeping water or an extinguisher nearby. Also, be mindful that fires should never be left unattended and should be fully extinguished when done. Burning trash and downed leaves are never allowed in NYS at any time of the year.
Since the annual burn ban started in 2009, wildfires have decreased by 46-percent. By abiding by fire safety laws, New Yorkers are protecting our land, air, and each other.
Photo at top: A pile of burning brush. NYS DEC photo.