DEC issues ban to fight high risk fire season

The state Department of Environmental Conservation says starting Saturday, all residential brush burning will be prohibited in small communities. The goal is to prevent large outdoor fires during the high-risk season. The ban will run from March 16-May 14.

The DEC says open burning is the largest single cause of wildfires in New York state. Debris burning accounted for 36% of wildfires between 1985-2009, which is more than twice the percentage of the second cause.

In 2009, New York toughened restrictions on open burning to prevent wildfires.

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