Police

Police: Mattituck man burning leaves set nearby wetlands on fire

Mattituck firefighters douse the last of a small brush fire on Bay Avenue Thursday afternoon. (Credit: Paul Squire)
Mattituck firefighters water down the last of a small brush fire on Bay Avenue Thursday afternoon. (Credit: Paul Squire)

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.

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