News

Alberni temporarily suspends city burn bylaw

Open burning within city limits is being restricted for seven days to help with temperature inversion conditions currently plaguing the city.

Councillors voted Monday to suspend the city’s own burning bylaw in order to undertake the restriction. Residents are being asked to refrain from burning in backyards or using wood stoves unless they are the sole source of heat.

Instituting a restriction would reduce degradation of the Valley’s air during a stagnant air period, councillors said.

The initiative was spawned after the Ministry of Environment and Vancouver Island Health Authority issued an air quality advisory for the Alberni Valley on Monday. A stagnant air mass over the Island is causing high concentrations of fine particulates in the air, the advisory noted.

The advisory covered an area 15 kilometres in diameter of Port Alberni City Hall and was to last for at least three days. No new fires may be started and no additional material may be added to existing fires under such an advisory.

Mayor John Douglas asked Port Alberni Fire Chief Tim Pley about the logistics of the advisory. Pley replied that the advisory only called for the voluntary cessation of wood stove use unless it is the sole source of heat in a house.

The provincial advisory is fine but  hollow, Pley said. Provincial advisories have no force or effect within the city and the city’s burning bylaw takes precedence, Pley added. As well, the province has an outdoor burning fire regulation that is covered by the advisory, but the city’s bylaw trumps that too because it is more stringent, Pley said.

Coun. Jack McLeman asked how the restriction would be enforced. Pley replied that the fire department is usually the first line of action for smoke complaints.

McLeman also suggested that council shouldn’t be reacting in knee-jerk fashion to such situations. Pley replied that a bylaw review is in order.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Disclosure rules on way for local elections
 
Teacher strike cheques in the mail
 
We Are All One show opens
Exchange enhances friendships
 
Bear Buzz, October 29
 
From Brentwood student to Hollywood producer
Chalk it up to honesty
 
Blasting causes headaches for Langford homeowners
 
New bridge installed on Mark Creek

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.