Wood Smoke Stories

Winter in Cowichan Valley, British Columbia

During the winter months air quality is a real problem in Cowichan Valley, British Columbia.

I have asthma. During the winter of 2014/15 air quality within the Chemainus air shed became so bad I had to leave town looking for air where I could breathe. I was unable to sleep for 3 days due to the anxiety experienced from the inability to breathe. I was in to see my doctor weekly trying to cope.

In total I left Chemainus on three different occasions, for several days to reduce my anxiety. Thankfully communities up Island have much cleaner air conditions.

At the end of it all I was forced to sell my home and move away. I now live in Osoyoos and have not experienced a single asthmatic event in 1½ winters.

The single most responsible source of smoke in my neighborhood was wood burning stoves. I have shared pictures on just how bad the situation was.

Persons looking to move into the area must be made aware of the risk they are placing on their well being by moving into the Cowichan Valley.