New York DEC Outdoor Burning Regulations

New Regulations Effective October 14, 2009

  • Burning household trash in burn barrels or piles is illegal everywhere in New York. Burning household trash in wood stoves, fireplaces, and outdoor wood boilers is also prohibited
  • Effective on October 14, 2009, all open burning is prohibited in New York with several exceptions including the following:
    • Barbecue grills, maple sugar arches and similar outdoor cooking devices, using only propane, charcoal, or untreated wood
    • Small cooking and camp fires, using only untreated wood
    • On-site burning of limbs and branches is allowed between May 15th and the following March 15th in any town with a total population less than 20,000
    • On-site burning of organic agricultural wastes, but not pesticides, plastics or other non-organic material, on certain agricultural lands
    • Liquid petroleum fueled smudge pots to prevent frost damage to crops
    • Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires
    • Disposal of a flag or religious items
    • Fire training with some restrictions on the use of acquired structures
    • Individual open fires to control plant and animal disease outbreaks as approved by DEC upon the request by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets
    • Open fires as necessary to control invasive plant and insect species
    • See the NY DEC website for more information
  • Burning leaves is banned in New York, including rural areas
  • Local law may impose stricter regulations than State law
  • This is only a synopsis of the regulations. Complete information on the DEC website.

Click here for an Open Burning fact sheet.

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