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Burning ban lifted after smoke pollution stoked three-day restriction in core Cowichan
A burning ban affecting central Cowichan was lifted Monday by Victoria.
The environment ministry and Island Health ordered the three-day ban Friday on outdoor fires — and restricted indoor wood-heat fires to CSA-EPA units — after a temperature inversion kept smoke pollution in the valley.
The air-quality advisory and burning ban applied within a 15-kilometre radius of Duncan city hall.
“Open burning may now be conducted without a permit or approval from the Ministry of Environment, provided the activity complies with the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation, Environmental Management Act, and with any restrictions imposed by other agencies (e.g. municipal burning bylaws),” the ministry’s release states.
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The ministry pulled its air-quality advisory Saturday due to improving air quality.
Dense smoke particulates meant folks at risk — especially people with respiratory illnesses— were urged to stay indoors, and in air-conditioned areas, to reduce exposure until Monday evening.
Exposure was of highest concern for infants, the elderly, and those with diabetes, and lung or heart diseases, the earlier release reads.
The ministry didn’t blame any one burning culprit, but explained the pollution may have stemmed from open fires, vehicles, industrial and commercial activity, and wood stoves.