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Burn ban in place on Kootenai reservation

| July 17, 2021 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — In coordination with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, the Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 has issued a ban on all outdoor open burning on the reservation due to elevated pollution from regional fires and weather projections indicating poor air quality.

The ban, which ban Wednesday and, is in effect until further notice. It applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning—including camping and recreational fires—in all areas within external reservation boundaries regardless of ownership or tribal membership. While ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt, burn bans for fire safety are also in effect.     

EPA requests that reservation residents reduce all sources of air pollution as much as possible, including driving and idling of vehicles.

Community cooperation with the ban will help many people who are at higher risk, EPA officials said in a press release.

Groups sensitive to smoke include children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with asthma, diabetes, heart problems or otherwise compromised health. These sensitive groups should avoid outdoor exercise and minimize exposure to outdoor pollution as much as possible. Under the most severe pollution levels all residents should restrict their activities.    

For information on current burn ban status on tribal lands, go online to www.epa.gov/farr/burn-bans-indian-reservations-id-or-and-wa#current-bans. To check air conditions, go online to fire.airnow.gov.