New York state announces dates for burn ban

(Photo via Unsplash).

The annual New York statewide burn ban begins this weekend and runs for close to two months.

The state-mandated brush burning ban goes into effect on Saturday (March 16) and will end on May 14. The burn ban, led by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), is an effort to “prevent wildland fires and protect communities during heightened conditions for wildfires,” according to a release.

“We’re encouraging New Yorkers who burn woody debris to do it carefully, don't burn on windy days, and have water or equipment ready to extinguish it if needed,” said Basil Seggos, the DEC’s commissioner. “All fires must be attended until completely out.”

Since the yearly burn ban began in 2009, the 8-year annual average number of spring fires decreased by 42.6%. The state went from 2,649 fires in 2009 to 1,521 fires in 2018.

Noted in the release, “Warming temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions. Open burning of debris is the single-largest cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures warm and the past fall's debris and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily, further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.”

More information about the annual brush burning ban can be found here. Details on open burning are here.