New York State Department of Environmental Conservation elevated the Fire Danger across the State on Thursday, to MODERATE across New York State: outdoor fires can burn briskly and spread rapidly on windy days.
Practice the utmost safety when burning wood and brush outdoors during our current dry conditions.
Precipitation in Eastern New York and Western New England over the last 30 days ranged from 0.50 to 3.50 inches, which is 15 to 90 percent below normal. The U.S. Drought Monitor continues reports much of the State as Abnormally Dry, and areas in Eastern and Northern New York are in a Moderate Drought.
Debris burning and campfires are among the top five causes of wildfires. While fireworks are not a significant cause of wildfires, they are a potential hazard. In most cases, fireworks are also illegal.
Fire safety tips for burning wood or brush:
- Never burn on a windy day;
- Check and obey all local laws and ordinances;
- Burn early in the morning when humidity is high and winds are low;
- Clear all flammable material for a distance of 10 to 15 feet around the fire;
- Keep piles to be burned small, adding small quantities of material as burning progresses;
- Always have a garden hose, shovel, water bucket, or other means to extinguish the fire close at hand; and
- When done, drown the fire with water, making sure all materials, embers, and coals are wet.
While camping in the backcountry, New Yorkers are advised to:
- Use existing campfire rings where possible;
- Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass, and leaves. Pile extra wood away from the fire;
- Clear the area around the ring of leaves, twigs, and other flammables materials;
- Never leave a campfire unattended. Even a small breeze could cause the fire to spread quickly; and
- Drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Move rocks as there may be burning embers underneath.
Do Not Burn Household Trash
- Burning trash is prohibited statewide in all cases. Incinerator rules prohibit burning household trash in wood stoves, fireplaces, and outdoor wood boilers;
- DEC recommends recycling all appropriate materials (such as newspaper, paper, glass and plastic) and composting organic kitchen and garden waste;
- Burning leaves also is banned in New York State. DEC encourages composting of leaves; and
- Disposal of flags or religious items in a small-sized fire is allowed if it not otherwise prohibited by law or regulation.
The State’s prohibition on residential brush burning ended in May.