You Ask, We Answer: Open burning regulations

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's 6pm newscast.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 11:51 AM EDT
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(WBNG) -- From March 16 through May 14, New Yorkers are prohibited from residential brush burning due to the statewide burn ban. Outside of the burn ban dates, some residents may be confused about when the appropriate time to burn is.

In this edition of “You Ask, We Answer,” one resident wanted to learn more specifically what the Village of Whitney Point’s burning regulations is.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website, burning is not allowed within any village. The Village of Whitney Point Office shared that the village picks up brush from residents’ homes once a month on every first Tuesday of the month. There is also a village garage located behind the River Rail Plaza, where residents can drop off yard waste.

However, the rules are different for towns. Residents that live in towns with fewer than 20,000 residents are allowed to burn brush most of the year, as long as it is not during the statewide burn ban and limbs are less than 6 inches in diameter and 8 feet in length.

It is also important to note outdoor fires must be less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width or diameter.

The DEC also states some areas can pass ordinances that are stricter than the open fire regulations, so you should check with local authorities to find out if local law requires a permit or prohibits open fires. Burning loose leaves, leaf piles and garbage is always illegal and fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished.

To check out the DEC’s most up-to-date regulations for burning, follow this link. The DEC updates an online map on a weekly basis to help residents check for fire danger in their area.

If you have questions about the community that you’d like answered, you can send an email to and tune in each Wednesday for “You Ask, We Answer.”