Wicomico County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted and amended as indicated in text.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire Marshal — See Ch. 41.
Fire prevention - See Ch. 144.
[P.L.L. 1930, Art. 23. sec. 28C; 1959 Code, sec. 24, 1902, ch. 518; 1959, ch. 84] [Amended 10-5-2010 by Bill No. 2010-10]
If anyone shall willfully, negligently and maliciously set fire to any brush, grass or anything else, on his own land or the land of another, or shall willfully, negligently or maliciously allow fire to escape in Wicomico County, Maryland, and, by reason of such negligence or malice, the property of any other person or persons shall be injured or destroyed, such offense shall be a misdemeanor; and, on conviction, the offender shall be subject to a fine of $100 maximum and/or imprisonment of not over six months, or both, in the discretion of the court; but any proceeding under this section shall not bar any person or persons whose property is injured or destroyed from proceeding for the recovery of damages by a civil suit in the appropriate court.
[Added 10-5-2010 by Bill No. 2010-10]
A. 
Open fires are controlled by the provisions of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) and the enforcement of these regulations by the Wicomico County Health Department (the Department).
B. 
Upon receipt of an application for an open fire permit, the Department, in accordance with the provisions of COMAR, may issue or approve a permit in writing allowing an open fire.
[Added 10-5-2010 by Bill No. 2010-10]
A. 
Any person, firm, corporation or agent who shall conduct an open fire incident controlled by the provisions of COMAR without the permit required, or in violation of such permit, shall be guilty of a civil infraction.
B. 
The Director of the Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development or his designee is hereby authorized to issue citations for civil infractions of this chapter.
[Added 10-5-2010 by Bill No. 2010-10]
A. 
Whenever an incident commander of a Wicomico County Fire Department, the Wicomico County Health Department or a Code Enforcement Officer of the county has grounds to believe that a violation may occur, notice shall be given to the owner or the person or persons responsible therefor in the manner prescribed in this section.
B. 
Contents of notice; service.
(1) 
The notice required by Subsection A shall contain the following:
(a) 
A brief description and address of the property where the violation is believed to have occured;
(b) 
Notice that an open fire requires a permit from the Wicomico County Health Department and is subject to restrictions set forth in COMAR;
(c) 
Notice that violations will result in the issuance of citations.
(2) 
The notice may be served by posting on the property and mailing the same to the occupier and/or owner of the premises whereon such open air burning occurred or may occur, or said notice may be served personally upon such owner and/or occupant.
(3) 
A copy of this notice shall also be given to the Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development to be filed among their records.
C. 
A citation can be issued when a violation occurs whether or not notice is given.
D. 
Any such person, firm, corporation or agent shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $100 for the first offense and not more than $200 for a second offense. Each and every day the burning occurs without a permit shall constitute a separate offense.
[Added 10-5-2010 by Bill No. 2010-10]
A. 
The governing body, with the advice of the Department of Emergency Services and the Wicomico County Fire Chiefs Association shall have authority to establish rates to be charged for response costs under this chapter.
B. 
Until modified pursuant to Subsection A above, the cost for a response shall be $500. If because of the severity of the event, more than one department has to respond, each department shall receive $500 in response costs.
[Added 10-5-2010 by Bill No. 2010-10]
Any person, firm, corporation or agent who violates this chapter shall be liable for the payment of all reasonable and necessary response costs as stated in § 146-5.
[Added 10-5-2010 by Bill No. 2010-10]
A. 
The Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services, Emergency Management Division, shall serve as the agent for collecting invoices and supporting documentation and billing the responsible party for costs. Wicomico County Fire Departments, including volunteer fire and/or ambulance companies dispatched to respond to an open fire incident are eligible to submit bills.
B. 
An invoice and supporting documentation identifying eligible costs under this chapter shall be submitted to the Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services, Emergency Management Division, within 10 calendar days after the incident occurs and is closed. Submitted invoices must include sufficient documentation for cost reimbursement (i.e., copy of personnel and on-scene duties performed, for all personnel involved in the incident, will be required for billing, audits and justifications, copies of time sheets for specific personnel, copies of bills for materials, equipment and supplies procured or used, etc.). The acceptance of invoices by the Emergency Management Division shall not obligate the county to pay those costs until payment is received by Wicomico County from the responsible party.
C. 
The Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services, Emergency Management Division, shall submit one or a series of consolidated invoices to the responsible party identifying agencies, agents or municipalities and their specific costs or reimbursements. The responsible party shall issue a certified check made payable to Wicomico County within 30 days of receiving an invoice.
D. 
When the Department of Emergency Services becomes aware of an open fire incident through invoice submissions or otherwise, Emergency Services will notify the Code Enforcement Officer of the county and the Wicomico County Health Department of the incident to allow a determination of whether or not a violation has occurred.
E. 
Wicomico County shall disburse payments received to the responding companies who submitted invoices and supporting documentation on a quarterly basis. In the event payments received are insufficient to pay invoices in full, disbursement among the companies shall be on a pro rata basis. No fire department or volunteer fire and/or ambulance company will receive reimbursement funds unless it has complied with the requirements of this section.