NEW YORK STATE (NEWS10) — To help reduce spring brush fires, New York’s residential brush burning ban is in effect as of Tuesday, and runs through May 14. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), open burning is the single greatest cause of wildfires in New York.

Open burning—as in outdoor fires, burn barrels, backyard incinerators, or any fire that’s not vented through a stack or chimney—is not allowed, with few exceptions:

  • Campfires under 3 feet tall and 4 feet long, wide, or around
  • Small cooking fires
  • Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires

In the few examples where fires are allowed, they cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished. They must burn only charcoal or clean, untreated, or unpainted wood.

The DEC also says that burning trash releases arsenic, carbon monoxide, benzene, styrene, formaldehyde, lead, hydrogen cyanide, dioxin, and other dangerous compounds. Burning trash is strictly prohibited statewide.