The National Weather Service for Delaware and Otsego Counties has issued a reminder that New York State’s burn ban remains in effect through May 14. The reminder was the result of the National Weather Service’s special weather statement warning of increased fire danger due to low humidity and gusty winds. NWS officials say it’s also important to exercise extra caution when operating machinery so sparks do not ignite flammable materials.

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According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in the spring time with all the dead, dried debris that exists, there is an increased risk of wildfires and "Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State". What also adds to the fire risk is low humidity and windy conditions which our area is experiencing. Just to give you a sense of why the DEC issues this burn ban every year, in 2020 DEC Forest Rangers extinguished 192 wildfires that burned a total of more than 1,122 acres.

Brush fires are not allowed during the ban but residents CAN have campfires using charcoal or untreated wood. Just make sure you never leave a camp fire unattended and extinguish it completely when you're done. Burning garbage or leaves is never allowed.

Learn more about wildland fire prevention and safety at www.dec.ny.gov/lands.

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