With spring approaching, not only will we see warmer temperatures and sunny days, but also a heightened risk for wildfires. As a result, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a burning ban throughout the state.

Even though most of the area is currently covered with snow, it won't take long for conditions to change resulting in lots of potential fuel laying around to allow a fire to spread quickly. The NYSDEC is prohibiting any residential burning from March 16 through May 14 across New York State.

The DEC will have a Fire Danger map posted every day on their website as well as on their Hunting and Fishing App. According to the NYSDEC, open burning of debris is the single biggest cause of spring wildfires throughout the state. Since there is very little green vegetation in the spring and leftover dried leaves and plant life from the fall, conditions are ripe to allow a wildfire to start quickly.

Violators of this ban will be subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for the first offense. To report any environmental law violations, call the DEC at 1-800-847-7332.

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