Don't fall into a burning ring of fire, where it burns, burns, burns. The annual brush burning ban begins in New York State.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation began banning brush burning in 2009 to prevent wildfire. It runs from March 16 through May 14 this year.

"The start of spring in New York comes with an increased risk of wildfires," Commissioner Seggos said. "Starting March 16 and ending May 14, New York State prohibits residential brush burning to protect our communities and our natural resources. Since 2009, New York's burn ban has reduced the number of wildfires in our communities and we're looking forward to continuing that trend in 2022."

Open burning is the biggest cause of spring fires in New York State. Despite some areas still being covered in snow, warmer temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions as snow melts and fall leaves dry out.

DEC Forest Rangers put out dozens of wildfires that burn hundreds of acres every year.

Local fire departments, many of which are staffed by volunteers, all too often have to leave their jobs and families to respond to wildfires caused by illegal debris fires.

Backyard fire pits and campfires less than three feet in height and four feet in length, width, or diameter are still allowed. Small cooking fires are also permitted. Only charcoal or dry, clean, untreated, or unpainted wood can be burned.

There are some places in and around the Adirondack and Catskill parks that are designated "fire towns," where open burning is prohibited year-round.

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