With spring approaching slowly but surely, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a ban on residential brush burning.

The ban will stay in effect until May 14 across New York State.

"While many people associate wildfires with the western United States, the start of spring weather and the potential for dry conditions increases the risk for wildfires in New York," DEC Commissioner Seggos said. "New York prohibits residential burning during the high-risk fire season to reduce wildfires and protect people, property, and natural resources. The ban has been extremely effective in reducing the number of wildfires, and we're encouraging New Yorkers to put safety first."

Openly burning brush, yard waste, and debris is the largest cause of wildfires in New York State, and since instituting restriction on open burning in 2009 the average number of spring wildfires in NY has gone down by more than 35%.

Violators of the state's open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense.

To report environmental law violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332), or report online on DEC.ny.gov.

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