Nov 21, 2018

Relative to your 15/11/18 edition, the comment about a man who had been charged for a team to extinguish a fire that was not a danger, I wish to relay my own concerns about busybody people who use the law as a patsy to harass innocent people.

Years ago I started a fire in my back yard at 2pm and by 7pm it was ashed over and not a problem. The combustible area was wet and it had been set after a rain. At 1am, I was awakened by my dog barking and lights flashing and firefighters running all over the property. I pulled my pants on and went out to ask why all the fuss and I was told someone had phoned about a fire on my property. I watched as the entire lot was inspected and no fire was found.

I then volunteered to them the details and time element, and the actual location of the fire I had set. It was still warm when I pointed it out but no action was taken.

Next day I received a call from the fire chief and asked if I had any disputes or hard feelings with my neighbor to the west. I answered not to my knowledge, but was aware the individual was fighting with his neighbor to the west and had taken the trouble to foment a dispute to my own neighbor to the east who was and is an excellent neighbor. I of course knew then who the clown was and the chief said he would be paying the individual who had called in, a visit next day. I offered to do that myself and he agreed.

I went over and told the individual he must have been in his cups as I had started the fire 12 hours previous and he had not called it in at the height of the blaze. I then told him to mind his own business and that I would be having a few more fires to burn more brush

I was not charged for the call. A year later I called the fire department about some brush I was going to burn in two days and the location, but was told I could not burn it legally. I communicated to the individual that it was stacked on the shore of a lake with the predicted winds to be blowing in a direction that would carry the smoke and any sparks across the lake ] and I was going to proceed. He told me if anyone called the fire in, I would be charged $3600 for the fire department to respond. My answer was that I had my own people who would be there and if any moron called them, I would not be paying anyone. I told him I WOULD CALL IT IN if it became a problem and would pay the cost personally, but not if some clown with no idea of the situation did.

That was it. I burned the brush as appointed and proceeded to do that several times over that year.

The writer of the episode needs to determine who the regulation formulators and backers of the asinine statute are and if they are in elected office, publicize their names and work for their defeat. There is no way an idiot with no knowledge of the specifics of a situation should be able to arbitrarily call in a fire UNLESS it is a danger, and have anyone pay for their stupidity and their not minding their own business.

Edward Kennedy

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