State issues burn ban through Oct. 10

A residential burn ban has been implemented through October 10 in upstate and western New York, it was announced this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Wildfire danger across New York has been heightened by spring and summer rainfall amounts that are only 25 percent of averages. Sunday’s steady rainfall brought a bit of relief, but the drought conditions remain.

Combined with a relatively dry winter, the weather patterns have elevated the risk of wildfires throughout the Catskill Region and the western portion of the state. The prediction of continued high temperatures further increases the risk of wildfires.

State officials urge New Yorkers to take the following precautions to lower the risk of fires:
• Refrain from starting any type of outdoor fire. In cases where a fire must be started, take extreme caution.
• Be watchful and keep a close eye when grilling outdoors.
• Make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished.
• When camping, use existing campfire rings when possible, and keep fires small.
• Scrape away litter, duff, and any burnable material within a 10-foot diameter circle, to keep a campfire from spreading.
• Never leave a campfire unattended.
• When finished, drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals and sticks are wet. Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again.
• Use a cooking stove instead of a campfire to prepare meals.

The stateEmergency Operations Center (EOC) in Albany is monitoring the drought situation and is prepared to provide a heightened state of readiness. Representatives from the Office of Emergency Management, Department of Environmental Conservation and Office of Fire Prevention and Control will staff the State EOC on a 24/7 basis as necessary.

Violators of the open burning state regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions. In addition, the Department of Environmental Conservation has suspended all burning permits previously issued. A moratorium on new permits is now in effect through October 10.