Clear the Air Cowichan

Welcome to Clear the Air Cowichan, a webpage to help you learn more about smoke pollution, where it comes from, how it affects you, and most importantly, what you can do about it.

2016 Woodstove Exchange Program - Receive up to $350 for exchanging an old, uncertified woodstove.

Check your chimney! Within 15 minutes of lighting or adding fuel to your woodstove, only a small amount of smoke should be visible. Otherwise, make your burn more efficient by using drier wood, increasing the air intake, or making sure you are not overloading your woodstove.
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Follow the Air Quality Article Series published in the Cowichan Valley Citizen.

Woodsmoke 101:
it's in the air
backyard burning
burning garbage
heating with wood - what's in the smoke
managing air quality in the CVRD
There are alternatives to burning! Yard and garden materials like small branches and leaves can be recycled for free at many convenient locations in the CVRD. Visit the Cowichan Recyclopedia for details and hundreds more recycling ideas!

What is smoke pollution? Smoke pollution is fine particulate matter released when wood, yard waste or other debris is burned. Smoke is a visible form of air pollution that also contains invisible chemicals and compounds which can impact human health.

Where does it come from? Smoke pollution is caused by burning. The combustion of wood, yard waste or other debris releases chemicals and particulate matter into the air. Excessive smoke pollution is caused by poor burning techniques, such as burning on foggy days or burning wet material. Rather than being quickly dispersed in the atmosphere, smoke produced in this way is simply spread around the neighbourhood, where (depending on weather and topography), it can linger for days or even weeks
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How does it affect me? Smoke pollution can seriously impact your health, as well as the health and well-being of your neighbours, your family, and your kids. The fine particulate matter and other chemicals contained in smoke affect the lungs of people who breathe it in, and can cause coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Smoke is also linked to increased rates of heart and respiratory disease, as well as increased hospitalization rates and even premature death. Elderly people and young children, especially those with pre-existing conditions like asthma, are particularly sensitive to smoke pollution.

Smoke Pollution and Your Health Burn it Smart! Know the Rules!
70 percent more hospital visits Burn it Smart! Decrease Woodsmoke Know the rules! Open Burning, Smoke Pollution and the Law.