A Bay Avenue resident was cited by Southold police after setting a pile of leaves in a barrel on fire — which jumped to a strip of nearby wetlands and caused a small brush fire, authorities said.
Police and Mattituck firefighters were called to the wetlands area just south of the ballpark and tennis courts in Mattituck about 4:25 p.m. after someone spotted a fire burning in the dry brush.
An officer on scene later said that the man living next door to the wetlands had been burning leaves illegally in a barrel on his property. Dry conditions and wind allowed the fire to spread a few hundred feet before it was doused by firefighters.
The officer also said the Department of Environmental Conservation will be notified to possibly take action against the man.