This fall in my area of Shawnigan Lake, I have witnessed on many occasions the typical yard fires that are associated with cleaning up during the fall/winter storm cycle.
For the most part the fires I have seen have been clean burning, well managed and attended burns. I also witnessed a couple that weren’t looking too good, that is, smoky, too big, unattended etc. My point here is the majority of fires that Cowichan Valley residents choose to use as efficient tools for acreage cleanup are well handled and do very little to damage the surroundings or contribute to poor air quality. In fact, as I have pointed out the majority in Area B (Shawnigan) have been extremely clean burning.
As someone who employs fires for acreage cleanup I can attest that the only way to get through the work sooner than later is to have a hot, clean fire. A colder, smoky one is only going to prolong the chore itself. We all have better things to do than to extend our working hours.
In any given situation where there is a difference of opinion, one can usually find a reason for the differences. In this case I know that poorly handled fires are in the minority and these fires allow people that dislike the process to get on their soap box and start painting everyone who burns with the same brush. Is this fair? No, of course not. The correct way to deal with this topic, which I see as cutting back on airborne smoke from fires, is to identify, penalize and prohibit repeat offenders.
The majority of us live in a rural area and are happy to do so. Those of us that choose to employ fires for cleanup of property, heating your home etc. are benefiting from the choices we made when we moved to the Cowichan Valley. We did not move to a major urban centre. For the great many of us, this is a lifestyle choice. For those that would like to see less smoke in the air, please get a smaller paint brush and focus on the offenders, not everyone.
Ken R. Worth