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Open Burn & Burn Ban Regulations

(Effective October 14, 2009)


Burning Household trash is prohibited statewide, including burning in open fires, wood stoves, fireplaces, and outdoor wood boilers.  DEC recommends that you recycle all appropriate materials (such as newspaper, paper, glass, metal, and plastic), and composting organic kitchen and garden waste.  Remaining trash should be disposed of at municipal facilities


Burning leaf piles is prohibited year-round.


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.


Effective October 14, 2009, all opening burning is prohibited in New York, except as follows:

  • Barbeque Grills, maple sugar arches, and similar outdoor cooking devices, using only propane, charcoal, or untreated wood.

  • Small cooking campfires, using only untreated wood.

  • On-site burning of limbs and branches is allowed between May 15th and March 15th in any town with a total population of 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 item.

  • Burning on an emergency basis of explosive or other dangerous or contraband by the police.

  • Prescribed burns performed according to state regulations.

  • 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.


To report environmental law violations, call DEC’s 24-hour hotline; 1-800-TIPP-DEC (847-7332). Callers may remain anonymous.


Speigletown Fire Department recommends that you contact Rensselaer County Fire/EMS Dispatch (518-270-5252), before burning brush, agricultural waste, or bonfires, to alert them of your intentions, and avoid having the Fire Department dispatched. 

A Burn Ban is in effect every year from March 16th - May 14th

For more information on the DEC’s Open Burn Policies please visit:

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