A West Islip man caught fire when he tried to burn a tree stump in his backyard Wednesday afternoon, Suffolk police said.
The flames shot back at the victim, 55, and he suffered burns on his legs, arms and hands, police said. A woman at the house called 911, police said.
The man was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.
Officers were trying to determine exactly how the accident occurred, whether the man was burned just after starting the fire or whether he was adding gasoline to an already burning stump.