The Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Smoke Control Regulation Bylaw includes Saltair as of Aug. 23.
Back in 2013, the CVRD tried to improve air quality and to address health impacts of smoke pollution by creating the bylaw that included Electoral Areas A, B, C, D and E as areas of regulation. It now incorporates the Saltair part of Area G but not Thetis Island.
Thetis Island has many different circumstances like its remoteness to Peerless Road Recycling and bylaw enforcement. The Thetis Island Fire Department also does a very good job of monitoring burning.
At the Thetis Island School weather station, there’s a purple sensor installed to monitor particulate matter in the air.
Backyard burning is completely banned in Ladysmith, Duncan and Lake Cowichan. North Cowichan has a similar bylaw as the CVRD.
People in Saltair must now become familiar with the rules. Open burning is allowed in Saltair from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15 in the fall and from March 15 to April 15 in the spring. The burning must be at least 10 metres from the property line and can only be done on properties of a half acre or larger. The pile must also be no larger than two metres high and two metres in diameter.
And open burning can occur only when the B.C. Venting Index is good in the Vancouver Island Zone. You can check the index by calling 1-888-281-2992 or Googling B.C. Venting Index.
No one knows what the impact of this summer’s forest fires will be on peoples’ health. The mountains in the Cowichan Valley hold the smoke in the valley for days on end.
This fine particulate matter can even enter the bloodstream and cause cardiovascular problems. It also poses risks to the airways of young children and seniors. It worsens respiratory diseases like asthma, pneumonia, emphysema and bronchitis.
Residents are urged to be smart and recycle garden waste into compost at home or take it to Peerless Road Recycling Station. If burning, dry piles and burn quickly.
Check the CVRD website and type in ‘Burning’ in the search bar for more info.