Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor said revisions to Central Saanich’s open air burning bylaw would affect the next open air burning season, starting Nov. 1. (Black Press File)

Central Saanich seeks to douse fine particulate matter from wood smoke

Residents have until Feb. 15 to submit their feedback for bylaw revisions

Central Saanich hopes to clear the air in reviewing its open air burning bylaw adopted a quarter-century ago.

The review comes after Island Health flagged the issue in an October 2017 letter encouraging municipalities to pursue various policies designed to curb the emission of fine particulate matter found in wood smoke.

“When inhaled, [fine particulate matter] embeds deep inside the tissue of the lung,” said Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer, in the letter. “Exposure is associated with a shortened lifespan, and can lead to lung cancer, reduced lung functioning and worsening of heart disease and asthma among those who suffer from these conditions.”

Wood smoke also contains many of the same harmful substances that are found in tobacco smoke, he said.

RELATED: VIDEO: Air quality leads to public concern over smoke in Victoria

The emission of fine particular matter will likely strike a chord with elderly residents of Central Saanich.

A 2017 Health Canada study found linked an increase in fine particular matter specifically due to wood burning in the winter to a 19 percent increase in hospitalization for heart attacks among individuals 65 years or older.

Just under 26 per cent of Central Saanich residents fall into that category. By way of comparison, the figure is 40.8 per cent in Sidney, and almost 32 per cent in North Saanich.

Fine particular matter, of course, does not respect municipal boundaries, and Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor said that the municiaplity looks to share the findings of its review with neighbouring communities, likely Saanich and North Saanich.

RELATED: Backyard burning goes kaboom in Central Saanich

Central Saanich residents have until Feb. 15 to submit their feedback. Windsor said he expects staff to come forward with something in March or April of this year.

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Young woman taken to hospital following Trans-Canada accident

Incident left woman with ‘minor injuries’ as West Shore RCMP continue investigation

Reignited embers damage Saanich house in Sunday morning fire

Fire started at around 8:30 a.m. in bucket filled with ashes placed on balcony

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

Sidney Museum’s Chief Dan George exhibition sees surge of interest

Four mayors, federal Green leader, Tsartlip reps to attend June 21 opening ceremony

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

SOOKE HISTORY: Pemberton Pool namesake remains a mystery

Historian believes it was possibly named after surveyor Joseph Despard Pemberton

Most Read