No matter how much you hate fruit, you can't break the law over it in New York State.

DEC Forest Rangers were sent to Otsego County after receiving reports of a person burning a large area in his backyard. When Ranger Petit arrived at the house, they found a good portion of the property was scorched from a fire.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Why was this person's backyard on fire? Because of blackberries!

The suspect wanted to clear their property of the blackberry bushes but was allegedly unaware the brush burn ban is in effect every year. Ranger Petit called in the Hartwick Fire Department and they were quick to put out the flames. The man was then issued a ticket for breaking the burn ban.

New York State has an annual brush burning ban every year that's in effect through May 14th. The ban has been enforced since 2009, with hopes of preventing wildfires and protecting those communities with a higher risk for spring wildfires.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

What is Allowed?

People are allowed to have backyard fire pits and campfires if they are less than three feet in height and 4 feet in width. You're also allowed to have a small fire for cooking on your property, but it can only use charcoal or dry, untreated, and unpainted wood.

You should never leave a fire unattended. Extinguish it when you are done burning or are leaving it. Burning garbage and leaves is also prohibited year-round in New York State.

The NYS DEC enforces many rules and regulations. They even have listed the best process when going #2 in the woods. They really are on everything!

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