A week ago, I saw someone trodding up and down the land across the highway. Potential buyers, I thought. A white truck, and two people clearly marching the property lines. It's been for sale, but somewhat overpriced, we thought. It's part swamp. The land owner has been dumping construction debris for years on it: dirt, big rocks, old building materials, asphalt, remnants of stone walls. They use a tractor to bulldoze it all into the wetland.
I went out Wednesday morning to blow the snow. Across the highway, there was a plume of smoke. I'm not sure how anyone thinks burning wet brush makes sense. It releases a lot of hydrocarbons when the fire isn't hot enough. Anyway, there was a small tractor there, and I presumed there was someone in it. They were there a long time. Later, in the afternoon, a truck pulled up. I presumed they would watch it. On into the late afternoon, they were gone.
I was back out Thursday morning, for my morning walk, and no one was there, but the fire was still going. What to do. What to do.
Of course, I went over.
First, I emailed our county. They kindly gave me the name of the fire department administrator.
I called the her, left a message. "What are the bylaws around having a fire?" She didn't get back to me by the afternoon. I checked the bylaws, finally found them:
- You need a permit.
- It needs to be done between dawn and dusk.
- It must be watched.
I called the listing agent for this empty lot. She is no longer listing it.
By then, I walked back out. The rain had stopped, and the smoke was worse. I ended up calling 911. They said they'd send out the fire chief to check it out. It was so comforting!
I donned my coat, again, and as I was working in the yard, I saw him pull up in his truck. He poked at it. He assured me it was more smoke than fire, perhaps even steam. Just as we were talking, he got another call. He said he didn't really want to call his peeps out just for this, but since they had another call, they'd come out and douse it afterwards. SWEET RELIEF!
After I posted this, I found out they are working on the lot. Lots of trucks, backhoe, after a flatbed dropped it off.
In the meantime, poor JB had taken the care into Crappy Tire for 1 p.m., as the cracked axle had to be repaired. There is something wrong with the brakes, too.
The problem is, the waiting room was packed. He walked around the store. He went for a walk. Ending up in McDonald's, fatigued. The car was down off the elevator, but no one could tell him what was what. Calling me at 3:30, he explained his problem. Finally, at 4:30 he arrived home. He was just wiped. I felt so badly for him.
I made him a nice dinner, and we relaxed. I had a Zoom meeting from 7 - 9 for my volunteer panel, ODPRN, and realised I really ought to have booked a haircut!