DEC issues burning ban reminder

A statewide burning ban is in effect through May 14 due to the increased wild fire risk, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds the public. Spring has become a prime season for brush fires and the total burning ban went into effect last month.
Last fall, the DEC instituted a statewide ban on trash burning and placed significant restrictions on general open burning.
The new regulations prohibit open burning, with the following exceptions:
• Campfires less than three feet in height and four feet in length, width or diameter are allowed.
• Small cooking fires are allowed.
• Fire cannot be left unattended and be fully extinguished.
• Only charcoal or clean, dry, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.
• Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires are allowed.

In towns with a total population of less than 20,000, tree limbs with attached leaves may be burned. The limbs must be less than six inches in diameter and eight feet in length.
The burning of leaves is prohibited. The DEC encourages the composting of leaves.
While burning permits are not required under the Environmental Conservation Law, still mandates that a permit be obtained by anyone planning to burn brush under the exception, if one’s residence is located totally or partially within the boundaries of the Catskill Park, designated a “fire town.” Local towns falling under this restriction include Andes, Middletown, Hardenburgh and Shandaken.