Re: Smoke drifting into yards

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Follow up to Ivan Jewell’s letter, Gazette, Aug. 13: Smoke drifting into yards.

Like Mr. Jewell, I am seriously impacted by wood smoke. My eyes burn and my throat hurts. Unfortunately, like Mr. Jewell, we have several neighbours who light wood fires regularly. We also live in the plume of the smoke from the fire pits in the nearby park. What this means is that on many evenings, particularly in summer, we either experience direct wind-blown smoke and/or we get a second wave of smoke that has accumulated in the stagnant evening air.

I would have nothing at all against wood smoke if it could be confined to the local area of the park or to the area of the fireplace’s living room, so that it can be more personally enjoyed by those who have kindled their fires. Unfortunately, in practice, dispersion of smoke is nearly impossible to control. It’s one of the reasons cigarette smoking has been banned in most public places in Canada. Because of its hazard to short and long-term health, some communities in Canada have gone as far as to ban wood smoke fires completely.

I know there are those who will say that prohibiting wood fires will be taking their rights away. In any community, whose rights should predominate? Those folks who are adversely affected, or those whose leisure-time activities might be impacted? I would be willing to bet that many health-conscious families are being deterred from visiting the nearby park because of the fire pits and smoke.

I have mentioned the problems associated with wood smoke pollution to city councillors, but none have yet been willing to address it. May I suggest that if you are bothered by smoke, that you contact your favourite councillor and make your views known.

Garth Edwards, St. Albert

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