New York State burn ban to begin March 16

New York State


NEW YORK (WWTI) — To prevent pollution and wildfires, a statewide burn ban will begin next week.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will enforce an annual spring burn ban starting March 16 and continue through May 14, 2021.

According to the DEC, Open burning of household trash releases dangerous compounds including arsenic, carbon monoxide, benzene, styrene, formaldehyde, lead, hydrogen cyanide and dioxin, among others. Open burning is also the single greatest cause of wildfires in New York.

Open burning is prohibited in New York, with several exceptions:

  • Campfires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width or diameter are allowed.
  • Small cooking fires are allowed.
  • Fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished.
  • Only charcoal or clean, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.
  • Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires are allowed.

According to the DEC, the annual ban has decreased spring wildfires nearly 43% percent since 2009.

The DEC reported that the risk for wildfires in the spring season is heightened due to the rapid snow melt and drying of vegetation. Additionally, as temperatures rise throughout the spring, last years autumn vegetation can easily spread wildfires, even if at first contained.

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, such as burning during the ban, residents are urged to call 1-800-847-7332, or report online on DEC’s website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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