Brush burning prohibited through May 14

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express

YATES COUNTY – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reminds residents that with spring approaching, conditions for wildfires will become heightened, and residential brush burning is prohibited March 16 through May 14 across the state.

Even though portions of the state are covered in snow, warming temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions to arise. The DEC posts a fire danger rating map and forecast daily during fire season on its website.

Historically, 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, dead grass, and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.

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 call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332), or report online on DEC's website.

For more information about fire safety and prevention, go to DEC's FIREWISE New York webpage (www.dec.ny.gov/lands/42524.html) or Learn Before You Burn webpage (www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/32064.html).

The NYS DEC fire danger map