Since the state began regulating open burning in 2009, the number of wildfires have decreased, according to the DEC.
Data from DEC’s Forest Protection Division show that debris burning accounted for about 40 percent of wildfires in the state between 1986 and 2006 — more than twice the next most-cited source, the DEC said. From 2000 to 2007, fire departments across the state responded to an average of 2,600 wildfires each year between March 14 through May 16, and one year after passage of the regulation, data indicated a 33 percent reduction in wildfires caused by debris burning during the burn ban period.
For more information on open burning regulations, visit www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/32064.htm.
We were lucky this year that the cool, wet season limited the number of brush fires local fire crews needed to extinguish during the ban period. If people take proper precautions, that number can continue to be low.