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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) advised today that although the ban on burning has ended, residents should use caution when burning brush.

Residents of towns with fewer than 20,000 residents may burn brush and tree limbs unless prohibited by local law. Residents in “fire towns” (www.dec.ny.gov/permits/58505.html) must obtain a permit.

DEC encourages residents to mulch or compost brush along with other yard waste. In rural areas brush piles can provide habitat for wildlife.

If residents decide to burn brush, consider burning when conditions are more favorable such as during or soon after a rain event, when there is little or no wind to spread the flames, and remember never leave a fire unattended and always be sure the fire is completely out.

Fire safety tips:

Check and obey all local laws and ordinances;
Never burn garbage, non-woody materials or painted or treated wood. It creates a public health hazard and is illegal in most places;
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 the material to
be burned;
Keep piles to be burned small, adding small quantities of material as burning
progresses; and
Always have a garden hose, shovel, water bucket, or other means to extinguish
the fire close at hand.
Follow these steps to ensure a fire is extinguished: 1) Drown the fire with water making sure all materials, embers and coals are wet; 2) Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again.

The DEC FAQs on Open Burning web page (www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/58519.html) provides additional information.

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