Not that too many people are going to need a reminder in light of the recently contained fire at Sam's Point in Ulster County, but there is a residential burning ban in effect through May 15.

According to a press release from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), open debris burning is the single most largest cause to spring wildfires across the state. The DEC encourages home owners to find another use for their yard debris, other than to burn it. Suggestions include, chipping fallen tree branches for use as mulch and composting yard clippings and plant clippings to be used in plant beds and gardens.

If you are found to be in violation of the open burning ban, you will be subject to a minimum fine of $500 and possible criminal and civil charges. For more information on Red Flag Warnings and Open Burning Bans, visit the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's website.