Putting this ban in place is to "protect our communities."

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The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office is reminding all New York State residents the annual statewide burn ban is in effect through May 14th.

This week the National Weather Service has issued alerts indicating that dry weather, sunshine humidity levels between 15 and 30 percent and northwest winds occasionally gusting to around 20 mph is expected. All these parameters support an elevated risk of fire spread, especially from late morning through the afternoon, officials say.

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The Sheriff’s Office Fire & Arson Investigation Unit is asking people to comply with the law and to adhere to the statewide ban that prohibits residential brush burning. Compliance will reduce the risk of fire and improve community safety.

On Monday, multiple Dutchess County fire departments fought brush fires, according to the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office.

"Dutchess County is fortunate for the service that our career and volunteer firefighters provide. Everyone must take the necessary precautions to prevent these fires from starting. These fires not only endanger life and property but also put our firefighters and EMS providers at increased risk. The Sheriff’s Office Fire & Arson Investigation Unit will continue to coordinate with the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response and local fire departments to provide assistance as needed," the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.

Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State, according to the DEC. When temperatures are warmer and the past fall's debris and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.

"While wildfires are more visible in the western part of the country, the start of spring brings an increased risk of wildfires right here in New York," DEC Commissioner Basil Segg said. "In an effort to protect our communities and natural resources, New York prohibits residential burning for two months starting on March 16, when dry conditions are highest. Help DEC put safety first and continue to reduce the number of wildfires in New York's communities by following the burn ban."

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