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March 10, 2010 - 2:57pm

Here's a reminder about open burning regulations

posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Here's a reminder about open burning regulations from Tim Yaeger, coordinator of Genesee County Emergency Services.

Last year, on Oct. 14, new rules took effect in New York regarding open burning. All open burning is prohibited with several exceptions including the following:

  • Campfires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width or diameter are allowed.
  • Small cooking fires are allowed.
  • Fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished.
  • Only charcoal or clean, dry, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.
  • Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires are allowed.
  • In towns with a total population less than 20,000, you may burn tree limbs with attached leaves. The limbs must be less than 6 inches in diameter and 8 feet in length (also referred to as brush). However, this is not allowed from March 16 through May 14 due to the increased risk of wildfires.
  • Open burning of residential wastes in any city or village, or in any town with a population of 20,000 or more has been prohibited since 1972.

Burning trash <http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/32065.html> is now prohibited statewide in all cases. Our existing incinerator rule already prohibits burning household trash in wood stoves, fireplaces, and outdoor wood boilers. DEC recommends that you recycle <http://www.dec.ny.gov/public/43706.html> all appropriate materials (such as newspaper, paper, glass and plastic) and compost <http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8799.html> your organic kitchen and garden waste.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/4261.html

Below are some commmonly asked questions and their answers.

Can prescribed burns be performed?

Yes. Prescribed burns, the burning of forest land to achieve a vegetative or wildlife management goal, can be performed but only in accordance with DEC regulations. Check with your regional DEC office.  (For Genesee County:  Contact Region 8 DEC - 585-226-2466).Yes, with some restrictions on the use of acquired structures and in accordance with guidance from NYS Dept. of State's Office of Fire Prevention and Control. The Fire Services Bureau may be reached at 518-474-6746.

Are individual open fires to control plant and animal disease outbreaks allowed?

Yes, as approved case-by-case by DEC, upon the request by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets.

Can I dispose of a flag or religious item in an open fire?

Yes, in a small-sized fire if it is not otherwise prohibited by law or regulation.

Can a town prohibit open burning that the state allows?

Yes, towns, villages, cities and counties can pass ordinances that are stricter than, and not inconsistent with, the open fires regulations. You should check with local authorities to find out if local law requires a permit or prohibits open fires.

Can explosives, or other dangerous contraband, be burned?

Yes, on an emergency basis by police or other public safety organizations only.

Can brush piles be burned at transfer sites?

No, the practice of burning large piles of brush collected from local residents at town or county transfer sites is prohibited. The individual landowners in small towns may burn their brush on site as stated above. Downed limbs and branches generated at a transfer site are also allowed to be burned on site with the same restrictions.

Where should I call to report an illegal open fire?

To report environmental law violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332).

The department has received many questions regarding DEC's implementation of  HYPERLINK "http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/2492.html" Part 215, regarding open fires. This document is intended to inform the general public about open fire regulation in New York and assist the regulated community in understanding the requirements of  HYPERLINK "http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/2492.html" Part 215.

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