- Associated Press - Saturday, December 24, 2016

ROYAL CITY, Wash. (AP) - A fruit growing and packing company faces a $24,000 fine for illegal burning at an orchard near Royal City.

State ecology officials say Yakima-based Washington Fruit & Produce Co. violated several air quality rules and put the community’s health at risk by burning tree branches and roots without a permit on days burning wasn’t allowed at their facility known as the Tyee Ranch.

An ecology inspector responded to a complaint by visiting the ranch and witnessed the illegal fire.

The inspector also found metal, treated posts and plastic irrigation supplies in the piles, which should never be burned.

Ranch staff reported they also burned on two occasions prior to the inspector’s visit.

Washington Fruit & Produce can appeal the penalty to the Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.

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