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Harford County

Street resident cited in April 10 field fire

A Street resident has been charged in connection with starting a three-alarm field and woods fire April 10 that burned more than four acres.

David Allen Wolfe, 41, of the 1200 block of Macton Road, received a citation from the Maryland Natural Resources Police for failing to provide an "adequate safety strip," or buffer, around the brush pile he and his family were trying to burn the night of April 9 and again the morning of April 10, Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson said Thursday.

Wolfe was also issued four warnings – one for burning without a permit, one for burning during prohibited hours and two for failing to supervise a fire.

The National Weather Service had issued an advisory the morning of April 10, stating windy conditions that day were ideal for a wildfire.

"Open burning of any type is considered very hazardous this time of year," Harford County emergency officials stated on their Facebook page the same day.

Thomson said Wolfe received the citation and warnings around 4:30 p.m. the day of the fire from Officer First Class Vincent Biondo. She said Biondo charged Wolfe after consulting with Maryland Forest Service Ranger Frank Lopez at the scene.

Wolfe serves as the caretaker of a horse farm on the property, where he and his family live. He told police that day he and his family were trying to burn the brush the night before and the next morning, but it wouldn't catch because it was too wet.

"Mr. Wolfe went off to do some errands, and while he was out he was called by a neighbor who said, 'The woods are on fire.' " Thomson said.

About 100 firefighters responded from companies in Harford and Cecil counties, plus York County, Pa. The fire call went out around 12:40 p.m. on April 10, and it took about four hours to contain the blaze and then extinguish hot spots throughout the wooded hillside above the farm.

Wolfe is scheduled to appear in Harford County District Court June 18, Thomson said.

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