OSWEGO — Oswego County Fire Coordinator Donald Forbes reminds county residents that the annual statewide ban prohibiting residential brush burning is in effect until May 14.
“With spring around the corner, conditions for wildfires are heightened,” said Forbes. “Warming temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions to arise. We will be in high risk of brush fires due to the lack of green vegetation and the abundance of available fuels such as dry grass and leaves, warmer temperatures, and wind.”
New York state regulations restrict open burning. Burning garbage or leaves is prohibited year-round in New York state.
No open burning is allowed with the following exceptions:
— Campfires less than three feet in height and four feet in length, width or diameter.
— Small cooking fires, only charcoal or clean, dry, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.
— Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires.
— On-site burning of agricultural waste (organic) generated on a farm larger than five acres.
Fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished.
On-site burning of limbs and branches is allowed between May 14 and March 15 in towns with populations of less than 20,000, but individual municipalities may pass ordinances that are stricter than the state open fires regulations.
Agricultural burns are allowed and there are certain circumstances when controlled burns, with a written permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, are permissible.
Violators of the state open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense.
Additional information is available on the DEC website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/58519.html.
To report open burning and other environmental law violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332) or report online to DEC’s website.