You have to burn something to get the ashes used on Ash Wednesday (search) — and that triggered a false alarm this week at a Catholic church in Akron, Ohio.

Somebody called the fire department when black smoke was seen billowing from the back of the St. Martha Church rectory.

When firefighters arrived, they found a priest tending a fire of palm fronds. He says his fire must have been smokier this year because it's the first time the fire department has shown up.

Catholics (search) around the world have their foreheads marked with ashes as they begin observing the 40-day season of Lent, which ends at Easter.