Time to ban outdoor burning completely

Shawnigan Lake – The recent appearance of articles on wood smoke has been gratifying. I sincerely hope this leads to action.

While a battle is waged with the province over contaminated soil, the air we breathe every few seconds is a dumping ground. With much being said about the desire for local control of fresh water, there is no protection of the air that enters our bodies constantly.

Some jurisdictions have been regulating wood burning for decades, but as the health impacts have become more widely known, many more have jumped on board to protect the health of their residents.

The U.S. EPA estimates that the lifetime cancer risk from wood smoke is 12 times higher than from an equal amount of second hand cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke has been dealt with to a large degree while wood smoke remains in our air with little that can be done without the cooperation of local officials.

My suggestion is to ban outdoor burning entirely and to require proper operation of wood heating appliances. When even an older, non-certified wood stove is operated properly, at high temperature and using dry fuel, there should be no visible chimney smoke once the burning cycle has established itself.

As someone who farms and who cycles almost exclusively for transportation, it is not practical for me to cease strenuous activity outdoors which is recommended during air quality advisories. Besides, the particulate matter is so small it comes indoors. No resident should have to beg for fresh air at home.

Donald Gilmore

Shawnigan Lake

Just Posted

Lexi Bainas column: A columnful of Oktoberfest, musicals, books, galleries, and more. Down the hatch!

It’s an exciting autumn and events are ‘falling’ on us from every angle this week.

Fiscal responsibility key for Mike Wilson, seeking election to Area C director

The decisions made by local government directly impact our community and our quality of life

Cowichan Third Division men pull together to shut down visiting Comox

Juniors and over-40s bolster roster in lopsided victory

VIDEO: Vancouver Island University gets $150K infusion from Island Savings

It’s going to enhance several programs and increase opportunities for students

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Cowichan Coffee Time: 4H, a marathon and fundraising

• A group of 4H-ers had a woolly good time at the… Continue reading

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

VIDEO: Man extracted from vehicle eight hours after accident near Cameron Lake

People making pit stop at picnic area made crash discovery

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read