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Chumash Tribe Helping with Fire Fight by Providing Water

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has offered its wastewater supply to help fire crews at the Rey fire.

The reservation has a plant that can produce 50,000 gallons a day. Trucks are filling up and using the water in several ways.

Most of the water is sprayed around the base camp to keep dust down.

It can also be used for firefighting.

The tribe released this information about the program and its contribution to the area fire agencies:


SANTA YNEZ, CA – August 26, 2016 – Recycled water from theSanta Ynez Band of Chumash Indians’ state-of-the-art tertiary wastewater treatment plant on the Santa Ynez Reservation is helping firefighters in their battle against the Rey Fire.
The wastewater treatment plant services the reservation, including the Chumash Casino Resort, tribal government facilities and tribal homes, and is the only plant in the county utilizing its recycled water in this capacity. The Chumash plant is supplying up to 50,000 gallons of water a day to local firefighters; the average water-hauling truck can hold 2,500 gallons.
Application of the recycled water includes spraying the grounds, roads, and parking areas at the incident command center at Live Oak Campground for dust control as well as the Santa Ynez Airport helipads where fire-fighting helicopters operate. The recycled water can also be used for fire suppression.
“When the Tribe was approached about water supply needs, the recycled water from our wastewater treatment plant immediately came to mind, especially since we are experiencing a record-breaking drought period,” said Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “We are pleased to be able to provide assistance at this crucial time in this firefighting effort.”
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns and operates the Chumash Casino Resort, which is located on the tribe’s reservation on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, California. The tribe also owns Hotel Corque, Root 246 and the Hadsten House in Solvang and two gas stations in Santa Ynez. As the largest employer in the Santa Ynez Valley, the tribe employs more than 1,800 residents of Santa Barbara County.

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