Breathe a little easier this summer season

Kitsap County residents can all take a deep breath. Those in the more rural areas may notice a difference — that is — if all are abiding the law.

The air should be free of the pungent smell that accompanies the burning of wood and vegetation as a burn ban was enacted Wednesday. All outdoor burning for land clearing and forestry purposes (this includes yard debris) is restricted until Sept. 30.

Campers can rest easy, however: the ban does not include recreational campfires in approved fire pits.

This ban will be a welcomed relief to those who are constantly smoked out by their neighbors or others who are sensitive to the smoke wafting through the air.

We also can hope for a decrease in brush fires sparked by what a homeowner thinks is a small, controlled burn.

While these can start a variety of ways, the burn ban will conceivably cut down on the number of out-of-control fires. Not only a hazard to person and property, brush fires also can affect people who are not even in the general area.

Some Illahee residents were left baffled earlier this week when they went to turn on their water and it was brown. An e-mail from George Smalley, general manager of the North Perry Water District, explained the problem was caused when firefighters hooked up to a hydrant to extinguish the flames of a brush fire.

The build-up of sediments discolored some residents’ water, but was harmless. Though just a nuisance that was taken care of by the district through flushing the mains, it’s just one more reason why burn bans are necessary.

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