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For Release: Wednesday, July 11, 2018

DEC Shares Tips to Avoid Starting Wildfires

Residents Encouraged to Use Caution During Dry Weather

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today encouraged residents in the North Country and Adirondack Park areas to use caution during dry weather and avoid starting wildfires. Although the State's burn ban ended on May 14, several open burning regulations are still in effect across New York year round.

Residents are encouraged to use caution when burning brush and other legal materials. In towns with populations under 20,000 people, residents may burn brush and tree limbs unless prohibited by local law. In towns where the population exceeds 20,000, brush burning is not allowed at any time.

Residents that live in townships inside the Adirondack Park or that adjoin the park, must obtain a DEC permit to burn. Residents should always check with local authorities to find out if local law requires a permit or prohibits open fires in their area.

DEC recommends these fire safety tips when burning:

  • Never burn on a windy day;
  • Check and obey all local laws and ordinances;
  • Burn early in the morning when humidity is high and winds are low;
  • Clear all flammable material for a distance of 10 to 15 feet around fire;
  • Keep piles to be burned small, adding small quantities of material as burning progresses;
  • Always have a garden hose, shovel, water bucket, or other means to extinguish the fire close at hand; and,
  • When done, drown the fire with water, making sure all materials, embers and coals are wet.

While camping in the backcountry:

  • Use existing campfire rings where possible.
  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry
    grass and leaves. Pile any extra wood away from the fire.
  • Clear the area around the ring of all leaves, twigs, and other flammables materials.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended. Even a small breeze could cause the fire to spread quickly.
  • Drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Move rocks as there may be burning embers underneath.

Residents are encouraged to check the DEC Fire Danger Map rating forecast daily for the 2018 fire season on its website and on the NY Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App available on DEC's website. To report smoke or fire please call DEC Dispatch in Raybrook at 518-897-0235.

For more information on opening burning, visit DEC's websites:

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  • Andrea C. Pedrick
    317 Washington Street
    Watertown, NY 13601
    315-785-2239
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