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Outdoor Burn Ban Called for the Yakama Indian Reservation

Release Date: 02/15/2008
Contact Information: Robert Elleman, (206) 553-1531, elleman.robert@epa.gov; Keith Rose, (206) 553-1949, rose.keith@epa.gov

(Seattle, Wash. – February 15, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 is calling a burn ban on all outdoor burning on the Yakama Indian Reservation beginning Saturday, February 16, until further notice because the weather forecast indicate that stagnant air conditions will develop over the weekend in the upper and lower Yakima valleys. This predicted stagnation may cause PM2.5 concentrations to increase to levels that are unhealthy for sensitive individuals.

    The burn ban applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning, including camping and recreational fires within reservation boundaries. Ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from the outdoor burn ban.

    EPA also requests that Yakama Reservation residents reduce all sources of air pollution, including excess driving and idling and the use of woodstoves and fireplaces, unless it is your only source of heat.

    Air pollution can have significant health impacts. Cooperation from the community will help people who are at risk during this period. Those most at risk are children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory, cardiac or pulmonary diseases. Those at risk should avoid outdoor exercise and minimize exposure to outdoor pollution as much as possible.

    Please call 1-800-424-4EPA and ask for the FARR Hotline or visit the Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR) website for the current burn status at www.epa.gov/r10earth/FARR.htm.

    NOTES TO MEDIA:
    Please repeat this message throughout your broadcasting day and weather portions of your newscast.