According to the New York State DEC it is currently illegal to burn loose leaves or leaf piles until Saturday May 14th. This is called the "burn ban" and the reason for this is because open burning is the single greatest cause of wildfires in the New York State.

A Hartwick man torched his yard recently to get rid of blackberries. He didn't realize the ban is in effect. More on that in a minute, but first, what caused a 75 acre brush fire in Lake Luzerne?

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On Sunday May 1st, around 6 o'clock in the evening NYS DEC officers responded to a call for a large brush fire in Lake Luzerne. Not only did DEC officers respond but they were joined by six separate fire departments to attempt to get the blaze under control.

The majority of the 75-acre fire was on private property and no structures were threatened. Rangers returned the next morning to secure the property from any further danger. Take a look at some of the damaged caused to the land.

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The DEC warns that if you plan a fire, always check for fire danger in your area on DEC's online map. Also, local governments may have stricter rules than NYS; your fire department will have information about local burning laws.

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As for the Hartwick man attempting to get rid of blackberries on his property, the individual was burning a large area in his backyard. The Hartwick Fire Department brought the flames under control and the man was given a ticket.

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