Ed note: Running over your leaves with a mulching mower (if you don't have a mulching mower run over the pile twice) will break the leaves down into small enough pieces to be used as an over-winter mulch for sensitive plants or, mixed with fresh grass clippings makes an excellent compost mix that will be ready for your early spring gardens. Burning leaves? No! Compost! JmG


Town urges caution to residents who burn leaves


(Original publication: October 9, 2004)

The town fire inspector is advising residents who burn leaves and brush to take precautions to prevent a small, controlled fire from getting out of control.

Burning is allowed in certain sections of Kent with a permit. To get one, call Fire Inspector William Walters' Office at 845-225-3900. Open burning is no longer allowed in the Lake Carmel Sanitation District, where people may contact the Sanitation Department at 845-225-7030 for information on grass and leaf disposal.

Walters reminds residents who choose to burn that several rules apply. Burning is allowed from sunrise to sunset, and the fire must be attended at all times. Have water or a garden hose nearby, along with hand tools. If you burn in a barrel, make sure there is a 3-foot clearance around the barrel, which should be at least 25 feet from any structure.

If you burn in piles, they should be no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high. Have a 3-foot clearance around the pile and make sure it is at least 50 feet away from a structure. There is no burning on Sundays or holidays, and you must notify police at 845-225-4600 before burning.

"Don't be fooled just because we had a lot of rain, and the ground is wet. Things still burn," Walters said in statement. "Ask yourself: 'Do I really need to burn it?' Can you chip it, mulch it or bag it? What are the weather conditions?"

Walters said that local volunteer firefighters spend many hours each year battling brush fires.


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005