County made right call with summer burn ban

Print Article

The heavy smoke clouding the air from several regional wildfires is a reminder of how dry the Columbia Basin and the surrounding area truly is. The shrub-steppe habitat of Eastern Washington, with its thick and bountiful sagebrush, is well known for its desert-like environment. Dry conditions are the norm around here. The driest part of the state is found here in the Columbia Basin, which only receives 5-10 inches of rain annually, according to information provided by the state Department of Ecology.

Given the tinderbox conditions, Tuesday’s decision by the Grant County Commissioners to approve an annual summerwide burn ban was wise. The ban is now in effect and limits burning from June 1 through Sept. 30. The burning of yard waste and scrubland are most affected, according to an article in Wednesday’s Herald. State restrictions already exist to cover agricultural burning.

The burn ban was initially proposed to last from June 15 through Aug. 31, but was lengthened to better fit the current fire season. We are glad the timeline was modified and agree the change was much needed. Why risk more smoky days and cloudy skies?

Commissioners listened to a recommendation from area fire officials who were in favor of the lengthened ban and heightened caution.

For most of this week, the air quality has been so poor that many of us curtailed our activities and stayed inside. School children were kept inside from recess and people with certain health conditions were advised to avoid going outdoors. Around town, some workers could be found wearing masks to keep from inhaling the smoke-filled air.

It’s too bad the smoke was so thick because people and animals benefit greatly from sunshine, fresh air and exercise.

The skies are supposed to clear up by Friday. We look forward to cleaner air and a brighter sun. Thank you to the fire officials who recommended a longer burn ban and commissioners who approved it. Being proactive is always the best approach.

— Editorial Board

Print Article

Read More Editorial

What can we say to Freeman High School?

September 21, 2017 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald The news that a 15-year-old student had opened fire and killed a classmate at tiny Freeman High School struck a familiar note here in the Basin. A little over 20 years ago another boy of similar age ...

Comments

Read More

Where we were on 9/11

September 14, 2017 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald Every generation has its “Do you remember where you were when you heard?” moment. Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Oklahoma City bombing... all marked a turning point in livi...

Comments

Read More

Life in the bus lane

September 07, 2017 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald The executive leaving work early (BMW, dress shirt but no tie, 3:30 in the afternoon) had every right to honk at me. I was in the wrong place. But the case can be made it was all due to ineffective ...

Comments

Read More

County made right call with summer burn ban

September 07, 2017 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald The heavy smoke clouding the air from several regional wildfires is a reminder of how dry the Columbia Basin and the surrounding area truly is. The shrub-steppe habitat of Eastern Washington, with it...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2017 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X