A hazy pall settled over Graham on Tuesday afternoon, August 9, causing asthma suffers and those with associative health problems to run indoors for relief.
With the absence of any discernible breeze, it was impossible to determine where the smoke was coming or even what was on fire. In fact, the clouds of a summer sky could easily be seen through the haze. Nevertheless, plenty of grit was in the air, delivering a woody-but-harsh aroma.
Graham Fire Battalion Chief Tony Judd told the Mountain News that the smoke was produced by controlled burns conducted by the Army on the prairie lands at Fort Lewis.
“This is their second fire,” Chief Judd said. “They had one last week, too.”
Joe Kubistek, media relations spokesperson for Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) confirmed that the smoke over Graham was coming from military property.
“Yes, there have been several different controlled burns at the base,” Kubistek said.
Kubistek declared that there are several reasons for the fires. First, the fires restore native habitats by burning off invasive and noxious weeds, such as scotch broom.
In addition, the controlled burns provide a measure of fire safety by reducing the build-up of growth in the under-story of the pine forests, which, if unchecked, can cause the massive types of forest fires that have ravaged western lands in recent years.
“Our ignition crews closely monitor the burn,” said Kubistek. “And each burn is only in a small area.”
Kubistek also said that the controlled burns will continue throughout the remainder of the summer as weather conditions permit.
B&R’s new program for backyard mechanics
Kurt Rundle, the new boss at B&R Auto Wrecking on Meridian Ave in Graham, announced this week that his organization has instituted a revised program for do-it-yourself-ers seeking to obtain used auto parts.
Long the province of self-styled auto mechanics, wrecking yards typically would have armies of private individuals roaming over their property trying to locate their vehicle and then proceeding to strip out the parts they need.
However, with the upsurge in recycling auto parts from used vehicles – B&R has 55 employees and their business has tripled in the past two years – the mix of industrial activity with old-school mechanics wandering the wrecking yard was unsafe and frustrating to customers.
As a result, Rundle has launched his “Pick and Pull” program, whereby vehicles for private recycling are in a separate area, fenced off from the busy areas where B&R crews are removing transmissions, engines and other large automotive parts.
The new Pick and Pull area also has its own entrance, customer lounge, and restrooms, and is closely supervised by B&R staff. Further, the vehicles are grouped in clearly identifiable areas, such as “domestic cars” or “pick-ups.”
The Pick and Pull area is also very close to the customer parking lot, and as a result custmers don’t have to lug heavy tool boxes hundreds of yards to reach their intended vehicle.
Nevertheless, individuals still have to use their own tools and retrieve the needed part on their own.
Further, these customers will also have to pay a small fee to enter the Pick and Pull area, in effect paying for the privilege of salvaging the vehicles.
However, the Pick and Pull entrance fee will be waived to all B&R customers who mention the Mountain News, or bring a copy of the pictured coupon below.
For more information on the Pick and Pull program at B&R, or to receive information on their vast selection of used auto parts – or learn more about their new auto repair service in Spanaway on Pacific Avenue – call: 1-800 – 992-6756, or click on B&R’s advertisement in the right-hand column. A click will take you immediately to B&R’s web site.
B&R is one of the largest auto recyclers in Washington, and is part of a nine-unit network of salvage yards and wholesale depots, located throughout Oregon and western Washington.
© 2011 The Mountain News-WA
B&R Auto Wrecking
90-Day Warranty on Used Auto Parts