New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation has announced an outdoor burn ban. The ban is in place to help prevent wildfires around the state. The ban goes into effect tomorrow, March 16, and will last approximately two months, until May 14, 2022. According to the DEC,
Open burning is the single greatest cause of wildfires in NYS. Since the spring burn ban was implemented in 2009, the number of wildfires has decreased by more than 40%.
Open burning is prohibited around the state, but there are several exceptions:
- A campfire or other outdoor fire that is less than 3-feet tall and 4-feet in width, diameter or length
- Small fires used for outdoor cooking
- Bonfires used for ceremonies or celebrations
- Small fire used to burn flags or religious items
- Only charcoal or wood that is clean, dry, untreated, or unpainted are permitted for burning
- Permitted fires can't be left unattended and must be completely put out
- Burning to control invasive species, but it must be pre-approved by the DEC
It is illegal to burn loose leaves or piles of leaves. Burning trash is always illegal, all the time.
- Organic agricultural wastes may be burned on-site where they are grown or generated, including brush and wood produced by clearing fields and other activities.
- Fires must be located on contiguous agricultural land larger than 5 acres, and the materials capable of being fully burned within 24 hours.
- The burning of pesticides, plastics or other non-organic material is prohibited.
- The use of liquid petroleum fueled smudge pots to prevent frost damage to crops is allowed.
- Burning tires and other wastes for smudge is prohibited.
- Individual open fires to control plant and animal disease outbreaks are allowed as approved on a case-by-case by DEC, upon the request by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets.
- Prescribed burns - the burning of forest land to achieve a vegetative or wildlife management goal - can be performed, but only in accordance with DEC regulations. Check with your regional DEC office.