Another Lethbridge resident concerned about wood smoke pollution


FIRE (Photo credit: Emma-O Productions)

This month, following several prior delays, the City of Lethbridge plans to review its Open Burning Bylaw 5431, which at present allows outdoor wood burning to take place in residential backyards.

Will our municipal officials do the right thing for improved air quality and health protection by restricting outdoor burning to devices using less polluting fuels?

With the bylaw review approaching soon, I was glad to see this letter in yesterday’s Lethbridge Herald (


No good reason to pollute air with wood smoke

Letter by Ann Clark, printed in the Lethbridge Herald (  Letters – July 4 , 2013

The rationales some people use for burning wood aren’t really compelling. “Others pollute, so I can, too. My firepit is pretty. I love the smell of wood smoke.” Is there any good reason to burn wood?

When we do, the heat and air currents carry the smoke away from us and into our neighbours’ homes and yards. The fumes from one firepit in an enclosed area would be, and has been, deadly. Why, then, do we think we have the right to use our neighbours’ property to vent the same smoke and toxins, making our mess their problem? A classic dirty trick!

We don’t understand why they object to breathing and smelling wood smoke for hours every day, and we scoff at their objections. We don’t comprehend how it threatens everyone’s health. It aggravates medical problems, especially respiratory ones, and victims are getting increasingly younger. Is it that their little bodies just can’t handle so much dirty air?

WHO (World Health Organization) warns that countless lives are lost in developing countries because of wood burning. They don’t have much choice of fuels. We do! Our city could be so much more appealing and livable without the stench of second-hand wood smoke, but a few want to keep their wood-fuelled firepits at all costs. Mostly what it costs others.

What a messed-up sense of values!

We really are amusing ourselves to death! (re: T. Mitsui’s [June 15] letter)

Ann Clark, Lethbridge