The burn ban is in affect in all parts of New York.

According to the New York State Department of Conservation, all outdoor burning is prohibited from March 16th through May 14th, 2021. Each year around the beginning of spring, the DEC starts to enforce the burn ban in hopes of preventing pollution, and stopping any wildfires from starting.

The burn ban has cut spring wildfires almost in half since 2009, with wildfires decreasing nearly 43% according to News 10. Spring wildfires are common across New York because according to the DEC, the risk for wildfires in the spring season is much higher than normal because of the rapid snowmelt and drying of most vegetation. As temperatures rise throughout the spring, the previous years fall vegetation can easily spread wildfires, even if a fire seems contained at first.

So as the spring yard cleanup starts for some, don't make the mistake of burning any leaves, brush, or tree limbs until after May 14th or you could face a fine. The burn ban also includes any type of bonfire. Violators of the state’s open burning ban could face both criminal and civil actions, with a first offense comes with a minimum fine of $500.

As far as enforcement goes, Forest Rangers, environmental conservation police officers from the DEC, and most local authorities will be out enforcing the burn ban over the course of the next few months.

If you do see someone not following the burn ban, or to report any environmental law violations, the DEC is asking you to call (800) 847-7332 to file a report. You can also file a report on the DEC’s website.

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