The state Department of Environmental Conservation says its annual ban on residential brush burning, which continues this year through May 14, has decreased wildfires by 35 percent since the restrictions were enacted in 2009. Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in the state.
The regulations allow residential brush fires in towns with fewer than 20,000 residents during most of the year but prohibit burning in the spring. Campfires using charcoal or untreated wood are allowed, but people should never leave fires unattended. Burning garbage or leaves is always prohibited.
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