$24,000 fine for Royal City illegal burning

An orchard and packing company faces a $24,000 fine for several alleged violations of burning regulations near Royal City.

The Washington Fruit & Produce Co. of Yakima burned tree branches and roots at the Tyee Ranch without a permit on days burning wasn’t allowed, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology.

A state inspector responded to a complaint and also found items that should not be burned, including metal, treated posts and plastic irrigation supplies, according to the state.

Ranch staff said they had burned on two earlier occasions, according to Ecology officials.

A permit is required to burn large piles of debris to make sure the environment and human health is protected. Smoke from outdoor burning contains fine particles that can lead to heart and breathing problems if inhaled.

Washington Fruit & Produce has a month to appeal the fine.