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Outdoor - Open Burning

 New York law only permits open burning from  May 15th through March 15th. 

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What can be burned:  Tree Limbs**

  • Limbs cannot be larger the 6 inches in diameter

  • Limbs cannot be longer than 8 feet in length

** Tree limb burning is only allowed by the State on New York,       in towns with a total population less than 20,000 (Ghent is         current at a population level of approximately 5,400).

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What you cannot burn: 

  • Household trash

  • Tree leaves (not attached to tree limbs).

(See more details by clicking on the pdf form at the bottom of this page):

Steps to a safe and successful open burn: 

  1. Prior to starting the burn, call the Columbia County 911 office at (518) 828-4114 to report that you will be conducting a burn.  They will ask for your name, address and telephone number.

  2. Ensure the area around the burn is clear and free of any combustibles (at least 100 feet minimum and more during dry conditions).

  3. Burn only on a calm day.

  4. Post an adult at the burn site to monitor it until all flames and hot embers are out.  This person also needs to have:

  • A fully charged cell phone

  • Adequate phone service signal at the site, should an issue arise.

Airborne embers can still start a fire even after traveling over a mile!

For more information, click on the pdf icon at right, or visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website at

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