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New York’s burn ban is over. Here are some tips before lighting a backyard fire

burn ban

(WBNG) -- After two months, New York's burn ban has come to an end. Before having an outdoor fire, there are some laws you need to follow.

"In Johnson City, we require any kind of fire you're using, whether cooking, bonfire, recreational, anything like that, it has to be at least 25 feet away from a structure," said Johnson City Fire Marshal Bob Blakeslee.

Structures include homes, fences, or anything that could catch fire. If you want a fire pit, it cannot be any bigger than three feet in diameter. Fires must be no higher than two feet.

"We don't want to get a call because somebody drives by and sees flames sticking up over the fence," said Blakeslee.

You will also want to be cautious of what you are burning. You will not be allowed to burn trash or pressure treated wood. Chemicals from that wood are harmful. No matter how big or small your backyard fire is, firefighters say you should never leave it unsupervised.

"Make sure there is somebody with it all the time. If you're not going to be with it, even if you think it's for a couple minutes, spray it down, put it out completely before you leave for the day," said Blakeslee.

Once a fire gets out of control, firefighters say in areas where it's dry, the fire will spread quickly.

"Good rule of thumb with fires, it doubles in size every minute once it starts free burning. They get big quick and they can spread," said Blakeslee.

Firefighters also suggest having a hose or fire extinguisher nearby at all times in case of an emergency.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, since the spring burn ban was implemented in 2009, the number of wildfires has decreased by more than 40%.

To read more about burning rules in New York State, you can check out the Johnson City Fire Department's website.

Katie Jones

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