Queen Charlotte to monitor air quality

  • Oct. 19, 2007 6:00 p.m.

An air quality monitor will be installed in Queen Charlotte in the coming months, Mayor Carol Kulesha told councillors Monday (Oct. 15). She said she received an email from Ben Weinstein, air quality meteorologist with the Ministry of Environment in Smithers, who said he’d applied for and received funds to install a non-continuous monitor. Mr. Weinstein was on the islands last year with the ‘Burn it Smart’ trailer, demonstrating the difference in smoke production caused by efficient and non-efficient wood stoves. He will be back in the spring to install the monitor.Mayor Kulesha said the email was timely as council just held a brown bag lunch (held the first Friday of every month) and she’d heard people’s concerns about low air quality caused by wood stoves and backyard burning. Councillor Eric Ross related the concerns about smoke from woodstoves back to his childhood. He said his family would cut alder in the fall and had separate woodsheds for each year’s labour. “It had to dry for three years before burning,” he said. This was so the fire would burn hotter and not as much soot would build in chimneys, preventing chimney fires. He says people are now cutting wood in the bush and using it the next day, which makes for very smoky fires. “It’s something to think about,” he says.