Wildfire smoke contributes to burn restrictions

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— Smoke from the Taylor Bridge Fire near Cle Elum and other wildfires continues to affect the Walla Walla area today.

Although there is not an official burn ban in Walla Walla County at the moment, due to the high fire danger and current fires around the area, the state Department of Ecology is monitoring the area very closely, said Janine Hill, code compliance officer with the Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency.

Because of the amount of smoke in the air, no agricultural burning is allowed today, Hill said. The daily burn decisions are expected to indicate “no burn” until wildfire smoke clears out and air quality improves.

Burn bans are officially in place in Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, Pend Oreille and Stevens Counties. Hill said. “At this point we are taking it day to day. If someone wants the burn decision for the day, they should call 524-4724. The burn decision is posted there and on our Web site at www.wwjcda.org every morning no later than 10 am.”

In Umatilla County, a temporary burn ban was in effect today for all non-agricultural burning in unincorporated areas, according to the county’s Smoke Management Department.

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