New York City Resident Starts Wildland Fire in Hudson Valley, DEC
A New York City resident is accused of violating the statewide brush burn ban which caused a wildland fire in the Hudson Valley.
On Tuesday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released its weekly DEC Forest Rangers - Week in Review. Among the new items was a fire in the Hudson Valley allegedly caused by a New York City resident.
On Tuesday, March 22 at 4:15 p.m., Forest Ranger Franke responded to an open burn off Route 209 in the town of Mamakating, Sullivan County.
A 41-year-old from Manhattan was burning brush and had left the fire unattended, according to DEC.
Due to high winds and dry conditions, the fire spread to approximately 2.5 acres of land, officials say.
Westbrookville Fire responded and had the fire under control by 4:45 p.m. Ranger Franke issued tickets to the subject for allegedly starting what officials called a wildland fire, which violated New York's statewide brush burn ban.
The DEC reminds all New Yorkers the annual statewide brush burning ban is in effect through May 14.
"Since 2009, DEC has enforced the ban to prevent wildfires and protect communities during heightened conditions for wildfires each spring. Backyard fire pits and campfires less than three feet in height and four feet in length, width, or diameter are allowed. Small cooking fires are allowed, but only charcoal or dry, clean, untreated, or unpainted wood can be burned. People should never leave these or any fires unattended and must extinguish them. Burning garbage or leaves is prohibited year-round," the New York State DEC stated in a press release.
New York first enacted strict restrictions on open burning in 2009 to help prevent wildfires and reduce air pollution. The regulations allow residential brush fires in towns with fewer than 20,000 residents during most of the year, but prohibit such burning in spring when most wildfires occur.
"The start of spring in New York comes with an increased risk of wildfires," Commissioner Seggos said. "Starting March 16 and ending May 14, New York State prohibits residential brush burning to protect our communities and our natural resources. Since 2009, New York's burn ban has reduced the number of wildfires in our communities and we're looking forward to continuing that trend in 2022."