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Kootenai Tribe enacts burn ban

| July 22, 2021 1:00 AM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10, in coordination with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, has issued a ban on all outdoor open burning on the reservation.

The ban is due to elevated pollution from regional fires and weather projections indicating poor air quality. This ban is in effect until further notice. 

The burn ban 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. Ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from the burn ban. 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 because air pollution can harm your health and can have lasting effects. Community cooperation with the ban will help many people who are at higher risk.    

Those who experience greater health effects from smoke include children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with asthma or difficulty breathing, 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. To check conditions in your area, go to https://fire.airnow.gov/.     

For current burn ban status on tribal lands, please call the EPA FARR Hotline at 1-800-424-4372, or visit https://www.epa.gov/farr/burn-bans-indian-reservations-id-or-and-wa#current-bans. For burning restrictions in areas outside reservation boundaries, please contact your local clean air agency, fire department, or the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.