Montague Center bonfire canceled

  • People gather at the Montague Center ballfield for the annual bonfire hosted by the Montague Center Firefighters Association in July 2019. This year’s bonfire is canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. STAFF File PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • People gather at the Montague Center ballfield for the annual bonfire hosted by the Montague Center Firefighters Association in July 2019. This year’s bonfire is canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. STAFF File PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Firefighters light the annual bonfire hosted by the Montague Center Firefighters Association at the Montague Center ballfield in July 2019. This year’s bonfire is canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. STAFF File PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • People gather at the Montague Center ballfield for the annual bonfire hosted by the Montague Center Firefighters Association in July 2019. This year’s bonfire is canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. STAFF File PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Report
Published: 6/9/2020 1:36:43 PM

MONTAGUE CENTER — The Montague Center Firefighters Association has announced the latest event to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic: the “Night Before the Fourth” bonfire.

The Montague Center Fire Department has sponsored the bonfire at the village ballfield for more than 50 years, according to Ann Fisk of the Montague Center Firefighters Association. But this year, with the health and well-being of participants in mind, the department voted to cancel the event, keeping with statewide restrictions on large public gatherings.

With this decision comes another much larger concern, according to Fisk. For the past several years, many residents of the village have used the bonfire area to dispose of brush and debris, a practice that Fisk said seems to have recently increased.

“This practice has to stop,” Fisk wrote in a statement. “The land used for the bonfire belongs to the town of Montague and falls under the direction of the Parks & Recreation Department. Director Jon Dobosz graciously allows the yearly bonfire, but certainly cannot be responsible for the unsightly pile of debris that accumulates all year long as residents bring in their unwanted material knowing the Fire Department will burn it.”

Residents are advised to contact the Montague Department of Public Works to determine the best way to dispose of such debris.

Fisk wrote that “the Fire Department would like to express its appreciation for the support folks have given the bonfire in previous years, hope they will understand the reason for the cancellation and will adhere to the request to stop using this area as a local drop-off site.”




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