Even though portions of the state are covered in snow, warming temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions to arise. DEC posts a fire danger rating map and forecast daily during fire season on its website. Currently, wildfire conditions in the state are low risk.
Historically, open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures are warmer and the past fall’s debris, dead grass, and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.
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’s website.
For more information, visit DEC’s Learn Before You Burn webpage.
Illustration of of NYS Fire Danger Map courtesy DEC.