Wood Smoke Stories

Polluted Salt Spring Island

This is an update to an earlier story. Despite all my letters and pleas to every form of health or government agency and to most of my neighbours, this past nine years has been filled with way too much wood smoke pollution.

Like all who suffer from this archaic form of air pollution abuse, we have little access to our own garden; walking or cycling for exercise means we must wear N95 masks to protect us from everyone’s wood stove smoke, and even gathering our mail we have to judge if it is “safe” to go outside.

Protecting my hair and clothes helps keep the taint of second hand smoke off of me.

Most regrettably, it is too hazardous to our health to sleep with the windows open as one never knows when someone will light up their wood stove or set fire to their yard debris.

More education is required even for fire fighters, as I was appalled that they, too, also stood in the clouds of carcinogenic wood smoke, without respirators or masks, while my neighbour changed our climate,  the quality of our lives and our health, and kept us once again, locked indoors.

This has to change.

Julie, Salt Spring Island, BC Canada June 2022
A neighbour's burn pile on Salt Spring Island
The burn pile was still smoldering the next morning.