Reminder: NYS open burn ban remains in effect through May 21

By Ken Sturtz |
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on April 11, 2017 at 6:53 PM, updated April 11, 2017 at 7:06 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Temperatures in Central New York this week jumped above 70 degrees and firefighters have dealt with a handful of brush fires recently.

So don’t forget: New York’s open burn ban remains in effect until May 21.

The ban, which began in March, was set to end May 14, but was extended by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Residential brush fires are allowed most of the year in towns with fewer than 20,000 people, but they are prohibited in spring.

When the snow melts and temperatures rise, grass and vegetation are exposed and dried, increasing the risk of wildfires, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Open burning of debris is the largest cause of wildfires in spring in the state.

Campfires that use charcoal or untreated wood are allowed. Burning garbage or leaves is prohibited all year.

The DEC said violators of the state’s open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil action and can face a minimum $500 fine on the first offense.