WARREN COUNTY, NY – Warren County Office of Emergency Services is reminding Warren County residents that New York State’s annual spring “burn ban” is in effect through May 14. Spring has been slow to arrive this year thanks to recent snowstorms, but snow has begun to recede and has revealed flammable brush and leaves that can fuel wildfires.
New York State’s ban is put in place each year to lessen the chance of wildfires, and since the annual springtime ban was implemented in 2009, New York State has experienced 46% fewer wildfires annually.
Still, New York State DEC Forest Rangers had to extinguish 192 wildfires that burned 1,122 acres in 2020, in addition to fires that local firefighters battled.
Warren County Fire Coordinator Ralph Bartlett said: “Burning of dead grass, brush, and leaves in the early spring poses a rapid, unexpected fire spread threat due to the combination of lower humidity levels and the higher volume of winds. Rapidly spreading fires can have unwanted consequences by endangering property, structures, and people. Please abide by the New York State Burn Ban and keep our firefighters and our communities safe.”
Bartlett urged that those who spot unattended fires call 911 if there appears to be an emergency, or use non-emergency phone numbers to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office (518-743-2500) or NYS DEC (518-897-1303) if the fire does not appear to be out of control.
New York State regulations ban both open burning and burning in barrels, and burning loose leaves or leaf piles is illegal as well.
When the burn ban is not in effect, residents in towns with population of under 20,000 may burn tree limbs with attached leaves. The limbs must be less than 6 inches in diameter and 8 feet in length (also referred to as brush). Open burning is prohibited year-round in towns with more than 20,000 residents, such as Queensbury, as well as all villages and cities such as Glens Falls.
New York State makes the following exceptions for open burning:
- Camp fires or any other outdoor fires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width or diameter are allowed.
- Small cooking fires are allowed.
- Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires are allowed. Disposal of flags or religious items in a small-sized fire is allowed, if it is not otherwise prohibited by law or regulation.
- Only charcoal or dry, clean, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.
- Fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished.
Warren County Office of Emergency Services asks that residents follow New York State DEC guidelines for campfire safety, detailed here. Even when the burn ban is not in effect, it is illegal to burn household garbage and leaves under New York State law, as denoted here.
For more information, please visit this page - https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/32060.html