Clean-burning rural folk a myth

Very few who burn wood do it without the choking smoke I see from my window

Clean-burning rural folk a myth

Re: “Smoke complainers are urbanites against rural folks”, (Dec. 4, Citizen)

I am not sure what century Mr. Aiken of Cobble Hill lives in but I live in the 21st century in the Cowichan Valley.

Very few residents can afford the acreage that Mr. Aiken claims rural folks live on, very few who burn wood do it without the choking smoke I see from my window, and very few burn dry wood or cover their burn piles with tarps before they burn.

I am sure that sitting on his cozy acreage he doesn’t see his neighbourhood on a foggy day when all the fine particulate from the burning wood clogs breathing passages. I am certain Mr. Aiken does not have asthma or other respiratory illness but guess what, many do. It has nothing to do with urbanites vs. “rural folks”, it has to do with people who have so little empathy that they ignore the suffering of their neighbours and the high rate of asthma and respiratory illness in children who live in this valley too.

I am not sure who started this myth of the “noble rural folk” who only burn clean and don’t pollute, but I, for one, am not buying it. When all air quality advisories are lifted from this valley and people start to breath easy, maybe then I will believe. But for now, please stop publishing letters from cranks who can’t see past their own property and “right to burn”.

Sincerely, with no intent to offend our noble rural folks who do care.

Penny Vogan

Lake Cowichan

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