Living In The City, Is A Fire Pit Legal In New York State?
On most weekends and vacations, I spend my time at a campground in the Endless Mountains region of Northeast Pennsylvania. It's a getaway from the city atmosphere., and even though it's under 50 miles away, it feels like it's a thousand miles away from home.
Many evenings at camp, I'll have a roaring fire going from my fire pit or I'll just happen to crash another camera's site to enjoy their campfire. I call that the lazy way out, but we all do it in the camp community.
Last year, my wife purchased a new campfire pit for me, since the one we have was starting to get worn down. By no means thought was to the point that it needed to be thrown away.
And since I don't need two campfire pits, I wasn't sure what to do with the old one. And then I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to bring the old one home and kick up a fire every now and then at home. It would be like I'm back at camp, except for all the city noise and lovely neighbors around me.
But, it is legal for me to have a fire pit in my backyard? I really wasn't sure, so I decided to do some research. I've seen other people in my neighborhood string a fire in their fire pits in the past.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - "Backyard fire pits and campfires less than three feet in height and four feet in length, width, or diameter are allowed. Small cooking fires are allowed. Only charcoal or dry, clean, untreated, or unpainted wood can be burned. People should never leave these fires unattended and must extinguish them." If you live in New York City, outdoor fire pits and wood-burning fire pits are illegal.
There are some New York State communities that are designated as 'fire towns', meaning open burning is not allowed year-round. These towns are mostly located in and around the Adirondack and Catskill parks according to the NYS DEC. There may be instances where it is allowed, but you must first obtain a permit. To do so, contact your NYS DEC regional office.
So, it looks like my old campfire pit is coming home. It will come in handy on a cool night in the fall when I want to sit outside and watch the endless stream of vehicles buzzing along loudly on the highways near my home. A pair of sound-deafening earplugs will solve that issue.
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