Wood Smoke Stories

Legal Ordeal

Our ordeal began in 2002 … Interlocutory Injunction obtained in May of 2005.

I can tell you first-hand what it is like when one is forced to deal with a smoke issue, as I have lived through it.

I can tell you that the stench permeates your entire home, your clothing, your hair, and you can even taste it.

Exposure to the smoke was extremely uncomfortable and caused burning eyes, dry throat, irritation of the nasal passages and headaches. When the smoke stopped, so did the symptoms.

There was no relief by opening windows because the acrid smells were like a fog covering our house. Buying expensive air cleaners did nothing to remove the odours. There was no enjoying the deck and yard as long as the wood burning stove was in operation.

As there was no provincial or municipal authority to whom I could turn to for help, I was forced to resort to the courts. In order to get the smell of the wood smoke out of the house, we removed and replaced the carpeting, ductwork, the furnace and air conditioning unit, and cleaned all surfaces including the walls. Mattresses and pillows were discarded as they smelled of wood smoke. It was an expensive project

I can tell you the fatigue my husband felt after working all day and then going to our house until near midnight day after day to work on the renovations. Myself, I had all the clothing and every knick-knack and assorted other household objects to wash before bringing them back to the house.

I came to notice that there were absolutely no cobwebs in a house that had been vacated for so long. I can only assume that something in the smoke killed the spiders because, now that we have the Injunction and there is no burning, I again have cobwebs.

We were fortunate enough to have the means to seek legal help. Remember that there was no provincial or municipal authority which we could turn to for help. What would happen to those that cannot afford legal help? Would they be forced to move out of their homes? Could they afford to do that? Would they be able to sell their home when a potential buyer saw or smelled the smoke? Or, would they have to remain in their homes with their children and become sick? It's a thought that is very disturbing to me.

I think it is high time that our municipalities give some thought to wood burning in residential areas. I fail to see how the public interest is served by permitting smoke from a neighbor's burning to fill a property and permeate all surrounding homes. Wood smoke is a serious health hazard.

Life Destroyed by an OWB
Wood Smoke Everywhere
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