NYS Residential Burn Ban in Effect March 16 through May 14

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

Even though the ground is soggy and still spotted with snow, a residential burn ban will go into effect on March 16 and last through May 14, depending on conditions.

Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State, according to the DEC.

Campfires using charcoal or untreated wood are allowed, but people should never leave such fires unattended and must extinguish them. Burning garbage or leaves is prohibited year-round.


All open burning is prohibited in New York 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.

  • Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires are allowed

Fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished. Only charcoal or clean, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.

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