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Illegal Burning Incident Reported in Westville, New York


On December 13, 2023, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a report detailing an illegal burning incident that occurred in the town of Westville, Franklin County.

Incident Details

The incident was discovered on December 12, 2023, when a DEC Forest Ranger responded to a report of smoke and flames coming from a wooded area off Pine Ridge Road. Upon arriving at the scene, the ranger found a pile of illegally burned tires and other debris.

The fire had smoldered for several hours, creating a significant amount of smoke and pollution. The estimated size of the burn area was approximately 1,000 square feet.

Investigation and Enforcement

The DEC Forest Ranger immediately launched an investigation into the incident. Preliminary findings indicate that the fire was intentionally set by an unknown individual.

The DEC has issued several violation tickets for the illegal burning and disposal of waste. Additionally, the agency is pursuing criminal charges against the responsible party.

Environmental Impact

Illegal burning can have severe environmental consequences, including:

  • Air pollution from smoke and harmful gases
  • Damage to vegetation and wildlife
  • Soil contamination from ash and chemicals
  • Increased risk of wildfires

The DEC emphasizes that illegal burning is a serious offense that can result in significant environmental damage and legal repercussions.

Public Safety Concerns

Illegal burning can also pose public safety hazards, such as:

  • Smoke inhalation and respiratory problems
  • Fire spread to nearby structures or vegetation
  • Blocked roads and disrupted traffic

The DEC urges residents to report any suspected illegal burning incidents to the nearest DEC regional office or the New York State Wildfire Hotline at 1-833-NY-FIRES (1-833-693-4737).

Prevention and Education

To prevent illegal burning and its associated risks, the DEC encourages the following actions:

  • Use designated landfills or recycling centers for waste disposal
  • Burn only small amounts of clean, dry materials in designated outdoor fireplaces or fire pits
  • Never burn tires, plastic, or other harmful materials
  • Keep fires contained and under control
  • Report any suspicious burning activity to the DEC

The DEC also offers educational programs and resources on responsible waste management and campfire safety.


The illegal burning incident in Westville serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible waste disposal and environmental protection. The DEC is committed to enforcing environmental regulations and educating the public about the harmful effects of illegal burning.

By working together, communities and the DEC can prevent future incidents and preserve the health and well-being of New York's natural resources.

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