My area of Baltimore County has finally changed from rural to suburban and here is how I know:
Saturday was a beautiful, windless day, just perfect for burning our pile of garden mess and sticks. We take large limbs to the dump and I also have a compost pile but there are many clean up items that we burn. We always have. All of our neighbors do too.
The pile has been getting huge as I have trimmed back the cypress mops, lilacs and cut down the St. John’s wort bushes and tall liatris. All kinds of sticks and branches not suitable for composting have made a gigantic pile out in our field. I suggested to Rich that it was time to light it up and he did. He was on the tractor chopping leaves when TWO FIRE COMPANIES CAME TO OUR HOUSE! Someone had called the fire company to report our fire. I can only hope that it was out of concern for our wellbeing rather than a deliberate anonymous statement about our burning! We don’t burn trash or plastic or anything like that, just branch blow down and such. We compost and chop our leaves and weeds. We are good stewards of our land.
So both fire companies were nice about it as was the fire chief. We didn’t get a ticket. I never knew that we needed a permit to burn. As we told them, we have burned our little pile for 27 years without a single problem. Everyone had a good laugh. The fire company said that now that cells make it so easy to call 911 there was probably someone just driving along and decided to call it in. There was a definite feeling that the call had been a nuisance for everyone. Still, it was a beautiful day and we got lots done.