Utica, NY (WIBX) - The Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding residents of a state ban on brush burning, starting this week.

From March 16th until May 14th, residential brush burning is prohibited because of a higher risk of wildfires developing.

According to the DEC, wildfires in New York spread quickly during the spring months because of a lack of green plants, a multitude of dry grass and leaves and wind.

The restrictions on open burning were put into place in 2009, and since then, fire department data has shown a 26 percent decrease in fires during the ban period, compared to the previous ten years.