A brush burning ban will be in effect beginning Saturday, March 16, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Tuesday.
The prohibition, which expires May 14, is due to the high risk of wildfires during early spring. The DEC explained that open burning of debris is the leading cause of spring wildfires in New York.
"While many people associate wildfires with the western United States, the start of spring weather and the potential for dry conditions increases the risk for wildfires in New York," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "New York prohibits residential burning during the coming high-risk season to reduce wildfires and protect people, property and natural resources."
The DEC imposed limits on open burning in 2009 to prevent wildfires, according to a news release. For most of the year, residential brush fires are permitted.
There were several wildfires reported in upstate New York last year. A grass fire in Cayuga County was extinguished by multiple fire departments. The blaze began when a man attempted to burn a piece of furniture in a fire pit.