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WILDWOOD CREST – Commissioners decided to proceed with an ordinance, which would give local police authority to halt fire pits on private properties when they become a nuisance to neighbors, at their Oct. 7 meeting. 

Under current law, police can only stop fire pits within 15 feet of a combustible structure. 

“People were using fire pits, windows were open, like on a cool night, like tonight, and it’s blowing into a neighbor's house. We can’t shut them down for having that fire pit blowing into anyone’s property or house,” explained Fire Chief Ron Harwood.  

The ordinance would not require fire pits to be removed. It would give police authority to shut them down for the night, which Harwood said would only happen if a complaint is received.  

The ordinance would also regulate placement and size of the fire pit and regulate open fires, said Solicitor Ronald Gelzunas Jr.  

The ordinance is expected to be introduced Oct. 21. 

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