Wood Smoke Stories

Driven from our dream home

We could finally afford to buy our dream home in Alberta but were driven out by neighbours’ wood smoke. Alberta Environment noted that their air pollution monitoring unit two kilometers away did not indicate a problem. This is how many departments of the environment operate. They shrug off complaints by individual families and when the problem grows and the smoke finally reaches a monitoring unit and air quality standards are being exceeded, then they decide that it is too political to do anything. Relying on the AQHI does more to mislead than inform.

The accepted procedure is to test the emissions at source before the stove or fireplace is allowed for sale. Apart from the reams of research, dealing with wood smoke and health, the fact that wood burning appliances pollute as much as 300 automobiles or 15 commercial diesel trucks made it obvious on DAY ONE that they have no place anywhere close to a neighbour. In Alberta, the reasons politicians give for not banning residential wood burning even though the health threat has been known for centuries are: 1. It is only recreational 2. The city has natural gas—no one will burn wood. This is not how things work and cities from Alaska to Australia are fouled by wood smoke.