The DEC is urging New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety when burning wood and brush outdoors during recent dry conditions. Although the State's prohibition on residential brush burning ended in May, fire danger still exists.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said:

Dry weather and warming temperatures have elevated the risk of fires statewide, particularly across eastern New York. The last widespread rainfall we saw was more than a full week ago and over the last month, some parts of the state are 90 percent below normal rainfall levels. I encourage New Yorkers to use safety precautions to help prevent wildfire outbreaks

DEC updates the fire danger map and forecast during the fire season on its website. The majority of the state remains at moderate risk, which means outdoor fires can burn briskly and spread rapidly on windy days. Precipitation in eastern New York and western New England over the last 30 days ranged from 0.50 to 3.50 inches, which is 15 to 90 percent below normal.

Fire Safety Tips for Buring Wood or Brush:

  • Never burn on a windy day
  • Check and obey all local laws and ordinances
  • Burn early in the morning when humidity is high and winds are low
  • Clear all flammable material for a distance of 10 to 15 feet around the fire
  • Keep piles to be burned small, adding small quantities of material as burning progresses
  • Always have a garden hose, shovel, water bucket, or other means to extinguish the fire close at hand
  • When done, drown the fire with water, making sure all materials, embers, and coals are wet

The DEC would also like to remind New Yorkers to not burn household trash as it is prohibited statewide in all cases. Incinerator rules prohibit burning household trash in wood stoves, fireplaces, and outdoor wood boilers.

For more information on open burning and campfire safety can be found on the DEC's website.

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