USA — The state Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding citizens that all residential brush burning is prohibited during the states historically high fire risk period from March 15 to May 15.
Last year, New York toughened restrictions on open burning to reduce harmful air pollutants and help prevent wildfires. While the new regulation allows residential brush burning for most of the year in towns with a population of less than 20,000, it prohibits open burning in all communities during early spring when the bulk of New Yorks wildfires typically occur.
Several factors enable wildfires to start easily and spread quickly at this time, including the lack of green vegetation, the abundance of available fuels such as dry grass and leaves, warm temperatures and wind.
Open burning is the largest single cause of wildfires in New York State. Data from DECs Forest Protection Division show that debris burning accounted for about 40 percent of wildfires between 1986 and 2006 — more than twice the next most-cited source. From 2000 to 2007, New York’s fire departments responded to an average of 2,600 wildfires each year during the period of March 15 through May 15.