While the snow melts and people begin their spring yard clean-up routine, it is important to note that NYS’ annual spring burn ban has begun. From March 16 through May 14, the spring burn ban temporarily prohibits residential brush burning. Restricting burning during the spring helps to prevent wildfires and keep our air clean. The combination of warm spring temperatures, low relative humidity, and lack of snow cover creates dry fuel conditions and increases the risk of fires spreading and burning out of control.
The spring burn ban does not prohibit fires for cooking or camping if fueled by charcoal or untreated wood. You should always abide by State and local laws when building a fire and never leave it unattended. After enjoying a fire, be sure to extinguish it fully. Creating a safe camp fire takes a few extra steps, but it is worth it to prevent wildfires and safeguard your neighborhood's air. Remember that burning trash and leaves is illegal in NYS at any time of the year.
Since human activity is the cause of most wildfires, we should all help prevent them. From the start of NYS’ annual spring burn ban in 2009, wildfires have decreased by more than 40 percent because of everyday New Yorkers doing their part. By reducing the number of dangerous fires, we protect our homes, communities, and natural resources while also lowering the amount of harmful pollution released into the air.