Letter by Cathy Baiton, printed in the Calgary Herald, Letters – August 5, 2011
Re: “Hope for rain,” Letter, Aug. 3, and “Which one takes precedence – clean air or firepit fun?” Letter, Aug. 2.
Two recent letters discuss the serious problem of urban wood firepits. Even the burning of dry, seasoned wood emits greenhouse gases and fine particulate matter that can enter nearby homes through closed windows and doors. All wood smoke negatively affects health, air quality and quality of life in neighbourhoods – especially for those most sensitive to smoke, including seniors, people with conditions such as asthma, and infants and children.
Residents of woodsmoke affected areas often find complaining to their local authorities doesn’t help. Too often, neither does asking neighbours to please stop burning. It can also be hard to tell where smoke is coming from, especially at night, and sometimes, smoke can be drifting from multiple properties at once.
People should not have to breathe air polluted by firepits, or hope for rain. More Albertans are hoping for bylaws that will help protect the environment and public health through bans on wood firepit usage in residential areas.