The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds residents that with warming temperatures and dry conditions, residential brush burning is prohibited March 16 through May 14 across New York State.
Due to the lack of snow cover over much of the state and with rising temperatures forecasted for the coming weeks, conditions for wildfires could be heightened.
“While many people associate wildfires with the western United States, the early start of spring weather, dry conditions, and lack of snow pack increase the risk for wildfires in New York,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “New York prohibits residential burning during the high-risk fire season to reduce wildfires and protect people, property, and natural resources. The ban has been extremely effective in reducing the number of wildfires, and we’re encouraging New Yorkers to put safety first.”
Currently, fire conditions in most of the state are low risk.
Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures are warmer and the past fall’s debris and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.