Port Washington police and fire officials responded to a call of what they thought was a house fire, that turned out to instead be a large brush fire, which are prohibited in the city.
Officials received a call at 7:49 p.m. Aug. 25 of a fire in the 1700 block of Laura Lane near Martin Drive, according to police reports. Fire Chief Mark Mitchell said the fire and smoke was so plentiful that it was believed to be a structure fire, and that most of the department responded.
Upon arrival, they realized it was a large brush fire. The fire was extinguished and the 43-year-old Port man was cited for having a prohibited open fire. Mitchell said the department is also hoping to receive some restitution for the department's cost in responding.
Recreational fires are allowed in Port Washington, Mitchell said, with the following guidelines:
- Fires must burn firewood only — no yard leaves, no trash, no garbage, no building marterials.
- Fire must be contained in some type of pit.
- Below-ground fire pits shall be at least four inches in depth and shall be surrounded on the outside, aboveground, by a non-combustible material such as steel, brick, or masonry. The fire pit cannot exceed three feet in diameter, nor may the fire pile exceed two feet in height.
- Below ground fire pits and freestanding fireplaces must be located a minimum of 25 feet away from any structure or combustible material.
- Portable fire pits must be located a minimum of 15 feet away from any structure or combustible material.
- The fire must be constantly attended and supervised until the fire has been completely extinguished.