Tribal burn bans imposed for air quality
The Colville Confederated Tribes have issued seven burn bans from November, 2013, through January of this year, officials said this week.
Currently, no burn bans are in effect on the Colville Reservation.
The report issued by Kathy Moses, of the Mount Tollman Fire Center, stated that the tribes’ Air Quality Program and the federal Environmental Protection Agency closely monitor air quality on the reservation and in part of Okanogan County.
When issued, tribal burn bans include part of Okanogan County.
The tribes have sent out public notices to all Colville tribal enterprises that when a burn ban is issued, it applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning, including camping, recreational fires and burn barrels.
The burning of garbage, treated lumber, particleboard, painted wood and cardboard is not legal at any time, the report stated.
There are no restrictions on wood stoves, fireplace, ceremonial and traditional fires.
The tribes’ burn bans this winter were imposed based on an extended Air Stagnation Advisory issued by the National Weather Service, dense fog and increased readings from the Omak air monitor.
Air pollution episodes can have significant health impacts, the report stated. Those most at risk are children, elders, pregnant women and people with respiratory, cardiac or pulmonary diseases.