A rash of brush fires in the region in recent days has prompted local officials to remind residents about a burn ban that is in effect until May 16.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation issues the ban each year from mid-March to mid-May. It prohibits the open burning of brush in towns of less than 20,000 people.

Brush burning is banned year-round in many towns in the Adirondack Park without a permit.

Local firefighters put out several brush fires late last week, mainly in Washington County, when weather warmed and snow melted to reveal dry, dead grass and brush.

In the five-year period since the ban was enacted, the average number of spring fires per year decreased by 43.2 percent, from 3,297 in 2009 to 1,425 to last year, according to the DEC.

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