Letters to the Editor

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BURN BAN: Why have one if it’s not enforced?

Letter by Brian Cawley, Yelm on Feb. 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm | 16 Comments »
February 6, 2012 2:20 pm

After the ice storm that took out a lot of trees, there are many fires and the smoke hangs over the fields, trees and roads in my area southeast of Yelm.

After talking to several neighbors and informing them of the Thurston County burn ban, only two showed much interest. Bald Hill Fire Department was unmanned and not answering the phone.

The BHFD had asked for and had our community post a burn ban notice. The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) did not provide much information, except that a Stage 1 burn ban was in force. There was no way of informing or asking for assistance. No system of notifying people and fining those who don’t comply.

What is the point of having a burn ban if it is unenforceable, unenforced and people don’t care about their neighbors who clearly have breathing difficulties?

Why is ORCAA funded when it is clearly just a government department that is either unfunded or unmanned like our local firehouse (which comes running in an emergency, as they have demonstrated many times)?

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