New laws on open fires

As of Oct. 14, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has changed regulations regarding open fires.

"Among other things, you can no longer burn leaves nor can you burn paper waste in a burn barrel, two things that I know quite a few Lysander residents have done in the past," said Lysander Supervisor Barry Bullis.

There are several exceptions to the regulations including campfires less than three feet in height and four feet in length, width or diameter; small cooking fires; and ceremonial or celebratory bonfires. Fires cannot be left unattended, must be fully extinguished and only charcoal or clean, dry, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.

According to the NYS DEC, "open burning of household trash releases dangerous compounds including arsenic, carbon monoxide, benzene, styrene, formaldehyde, lead, hydrogen cyanide and dioxin, among others. Open burning is also the single greatest cause of wildfires in New York." While there are other exceptions to the rule, most are considered on a case by case basis, per the NYS DEC.

The NYS DEC is the entity enforcing the new laws. To report an illegal open fire, call 1-800-847-7332.

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