Smoke in the air a burning issue in Valley

Duncan – I phoned the RCMP Saturday morning and was given a number to call. That led me to someone as concerned as we were about the amount of smoke invading our lives. I was told the Ministry of Forestry had issued a burning permit to someone on Drinkwater Road. The fire must have been massive. We live in the Lakes Road area and have family who tell us the air was hazy in the Tansor Road area as well. That’s a lot of smoke.

The Ministry of Environment and Island Health have been telling us for years our air quality is poor and we need to stop the open burning.

Our North Cowichan mayor and council keep putting other issues ahead of this problem. We know that wood smoke stays in our lungs 40 times longer than cigarette smoke. We know that respiratory illness has skyrocketed in this valley. If our elected officials are not being bribed or bullied then what is the reason they allow this burning to continue? To those of you who still burn and feel it’s your right, it is time for you to think of all of us, not just the convenience burning allows you.

Our home, our greenhouse filled with organic food, our lungs, the lungs of our pets,

every man, woman, child, every living thing was affected negatively from this huge burn. To the person who issued the permit and the person who issued the fire, I have no words. We need to move beyond their archaic way of thinking.

The number I was given to call is 1-877-952-7277. Record it by your phone and don’t hesitate to call the next time you are filled with smoke. This battle needs to end. It’s time for us to come out of our caves and enjoy the benefits of fresh air. Don’t be afraid to call this number. We need your help.

Shirley Crosson

Duncan