Town of Wilton New York
Restricted Residential Burning Law

Restricted Residential Burning Law

Open burning is prohibited in New York, with several exceptions:

  • Campfires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width or diameter are allowed.
  • Small cooking fires are allowed.
  • Fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished.
  • Only charcoal or clean, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.
  • Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires are allowed.

In towns with a total population less than 20,000, you may burn tree limbs with attached leaves. The limbs must be less than 6 inches in diameter and 8 feet in length (also referred to as brush). However, this is not allowed from March 16 through May 14 due to the increased risk of wildfires.

The practice of burning large piles of brush collected from local residents at town or county transfer sites is prohibited. The individual landowners in small towns may burn their brush on site as discussed above. Downed limbs and branches generated at a transfer site are also allowed to be burned on site with the same restrictions

See Section 215.3 (link leaves DEC's website) for a full list of exceptions.

Please note: While most firewood must be untreated, some firewood is heat treated (kiln dried) to control invasive insect species if it is to be transported over 50 miles. Heat treated firewood is not intended to be prohibited. However, the burning of chemically treated wood such as pressure-treated lumber and plywood is prohibited.


§ 49-4 Outdoor fireplaces and grills; bonfires.

A. Nothing in this chapter shall pertain to the operation of outdoor grills or fireplaces for the preparation of food where the source of heat is either wood, charcoal or gas.

B. Bonfires for recreational purposes, with a flame height not to exceed five feet, that are three feet in diameter and three feet of piled height, are permitted, provided that the fuel source is clean wood. Open burning of bonfires shall be subject to the provisions of Subsections C, D, E, F, G and H under § 49-5 of this chapter.

§ 49-5 Restricted residential burning.

Burning in an open fire, provided that it is not contrary to any other law, will be allowed upon lots of two acres or more, but not within the confines of a mobile home park, as follows:

A. Land clearing/cleanup and or demolition material consisting of clean wood, trees, tree trimmings, or brush. Such burning shall only be done on the site where the materials are generated.

B. No burning is allowed within 100 feet of a property line.

C. No burning is allowed on the day that the following holidays are observed:

(1) Memorial Day.

(2) Fourth of July.

(3) Labor Day.

D. No burning is allowed between March 16 and May 14 due to the increased risk of wildfires.

E. No burning is allowed when the Town Fire Marshal has duly posted a fire prohibition.

F. Prior to any burning, the County Office of Fire Control shall be notified. Such notification shall include the location and time of the burn. The Office of Fire Control shall also be notified when the burn is completed [(518) (885-5522)].

G. Open fires allowed under this section and § 49-4 shall be attended at all times by a responsible adult.

H. Appropriate fire-extinguishing equipment, as designated by the Town Fire Marshal, shall be available at all times during the burn.

§ 49-6 Exemptions.

Open fires upon lands owned by the Town of Wilton or any fire department and open fires under the direction of any fire department are exempt from this chapter.

§ 49-7Responsibility of person conducting burn.

A. Burning allowed by this chapter does not relieve the person conducting the burn from the responsibility of courtesy to neighbors, nor does it relieve him/her from the responsibility of not interfering with the enjoyment of life or property of others. It is his/her responsibility to take steps that assure that no off-site nuisances from smoke, embers, etc., occur.

B. The Fire Marshal or the chief firematic officers of the applicable fire company can order any fire extinguished if he or she deems that proper responsibility is not being exercised.

C. This chapter does not relieve the person performing the burn of the responsibility of obtaining other permits required by the State of New York or other agencies

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