JUST ASK SHANE: Questions about Agricultural Burns During Burn B - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

JUST ASK SHANE: Questions about Agricultural Burns During Burn Bans

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, WA. - When Governor Jay Inslee issued a ban on outdoor burning across eastern Washington late last month, it prompted a lot of you to ask about some agricultural burns that were allowed last week in Franklin County.

Margaret sent us a Facebook message asking, "Why are farmers still allowed to burn their fields when there is a burn ban in place?"

We talked with the Washington Department of Ecology and they told us the Governor's proclamation allows for ag burns that are issued permits by local authorities, as long as ideal weather conditions are in place.  They permitted the burns because there was a light breeze blowing the smoke away from the city of Pasco, and the atmosphere was unstable which allowed the smoke plume to rise high into the air where it could dissipate easily.  Franklin County Fire District 3 was also notified about the burns and monitored them. 

"Under these types of conditions with the burn ban, we know a lot of residents are going to have questions.  So we did go out to all three burns last week and watched them and we were in constant communication with the farmer that was doing that burn," said Chief Mike Harris with Franklin County Fire District No. 3.

Chief Harris says his crews also checked each site to make sure proper fire breaks were in place and water trucks were on site.  Harris also says ag burns are not allowed right now, because we're currently under a red flag warning, and wind speeds are well over ten miles per hour.

Remember, if you've got a question about something going on in our community... send it my way.  You can reach me in the newsroom at (509) 737-6738, or send me an email at JustAskShane@nbcrightnow.com