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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