The response to ongoing public complaints sent in (regularly) by a prominent Cowichan painter about airborne woodsmoke and yard burning are entertaining; facetious even.
Driving from the north into Duncan on a clear sunny day, no one can fail to observe how the belching smoke from the Crofton Mill, framed by a clear blue sky, lights up the sky like — well — a piece of artwork. Sometimes the whitish smoke goes vertical, but far more often its tentacles are reaching out lower down to all and sundry. When it’s cloudy and grey, the mill smoke can pretend it’s not there. But when a south-east wind is blowing, as I’ve observed several times, the odour gets right into one’s car (never mind your house), even with the windows closed. As good as having the “family dog” break wind while we drivers watch the smoke eagerly heading south to Duncan. You get my drift.
The daily Crofton mill emissions, especially the odour (less toxic than years back but still loaded with particulates), make the Great Wood Burning Debate look like a backyard Sunday barbecue squabble.
Therefore I challenge the said (respected) artist to take a drive north on the TCH and its environs on a south-easterly, smoky mill day, shop for veggies before the Chemainus bridge, a favourite venue for mill-smoke, and then sock it to the Cowichan Valley public (especially in the Chemainus-Crofton area) with yet another edict about shutting down those annoying backyard burners and scurrilous owners of energy-saving woodstoves.