DEC issues annual brush-burning ban from March 16 – May 14
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 11:39 am

An annual statewide brush-burning ban is in effect from March 16 until May 14, according to conservation officials.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding St. Lawrence County residents that all residential brush burning is prohibited during the state's historically high-fire-risk period beginning March 16 through May 14.

"Since the open burning regulation passed in 2009, there are a fewer number of fires reported in New York State this time of year," Commissioner Joe Martens said. "I urge everyone to be cautious with the risk of wildfires and remind all New Yorkers that the statewide ban is in effect through mid-May beginning this week."

In 2009, New York toughened restrictions on open burning to reduce harmful air pollutants and help prevent wildfires.

While the regulation allows residential brush burning for most of the year in towns with a population of less than 20,000, it prohibits open burning in all communities during early spring when the bulk of New York's wildfires typically occur.

The new regulation prohibits the burning of garbage at all times and places.

Several factors enable wildfires to start easily and spread quickly at this time, including the lack of green vegetation, abundance of available fuels such as dry grass and leaves, warm temperatures and wind, DEC officials said.