Fire Coordinator Provides Advice on Burning Brush in Oswego County

OSWEGO – Oswego County’s Fire Coordinator advised today (May 19) that although the New York State burn ban ended May 14, people should still use caution when burning brush.

In towns with less than 20,000 residents, burning of downed limbs and branches with leaves attached is allowed between May 14 and March 15, 2018.

Individual municipalities may pass their own ordinances that restrict open burning.

Fire Coordinator Don Forbes encourages residents to check with their local town or village to find out if local law requires a permit or prohibits open fires.

“If residents decide to burn brush, they should consider burning when conditions are more favorable such as during or soon after a rain event, when there is little or no wind to spread the flames,” said Forbes. “Never leave a fire unattended and always be sure the fire is completely out.”

Residents are encouraged to mulch or compost brush along with other yard waste.

In rural areas brush piles can provide habitat for wildlife.

Forbes offers these fire safety tips:
– Check and obey all local laws and ordinances;
– Never burn garbage, non-woody materials or painted or treated wood. It creates a public health hazard and is illegal in most places;
– Burn early in the morning when humidity is high and winds are low;
– Clear all flammable material for a distance of 10 to 15 feet around the material to be burned;
– Keep piles to be burned small, adding small quantities of material as burning progresses;
– Always have a garden hose, shovel, water bucket, or other means to extinguish the fire close at hand; and
– To make sure the fire is extinguished, drown the fire with water making sure all materials, embers and coals are wet. Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again.

Additional information on NYS open burning regulations is posted at