pine brush fire

Discarded fireplace ashes caused a brush fire in Pine Wednesday. Crews got it under control before it could spread.

Discarded ashes caused a small brush fire in south Pine Wednesday and left a homeowner humbled and apologetic, said Pine-Strawberry Fire Department Chief John Wisner.

When Wisner left his home midday Wednesday, he saw smoke in the distance and called it in, dispatching PSFD crews to search for the source. As crews searched, the homeowner called 911 and reported the fire spreading quickly on his property, Wisner said.

PSFD crews got the fire under control and canceled mutual aid responses from neighboring departments.

“The very apologetic homeowner explained that he believed the ashes had cooled,” Wisner said.

The homeowner had discarded the ashes two days earlier.

“PSFD wishes to remind everyone that wood ashes can remain hot for days after removal from your fireplace,” Wisner said. “Ashes should be allowed to completely cool in a metal container away from flammable materials such as decks or vegetation. When discarded on the ground they should be clear of flammable vegetation and wet thoroughly with water.”

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