Re: New burning regs aim to improve air quality for everyone (Gazette, Oct. 1)
The decision to change burning regulations in Langford still needs work. No one can argue with air quality issues, but reasonable alternatives should be considered when rules are changed.
Under the new rules, residents on large lots (more than half an acre) can still burn on designated days, excepting areas of “extreme fire hazard.” These areas include much of the heavily treed parts of Langford, where there is ongoing significant underbrush on large lots.
During the winter rains, these areas are sodden and not any kind of fire hazard, and therefore should not be designated “extreme fire hazard” from November to April.
Fire experts strongly suggest owners of forested properties keep the undergrowth and brush maintained and cleaned out. Where will these responsible owners put this waste if not able to burn over the winter months? Not everyone can afford a large chipper. Will this encourage dumping on other properties?
Every other municipality in the Capital Regional District has free services where citizens are encouraged to drop off their yard refuse. Yet Langford’s website only suggests citizens can pay a private company to dispose of garden refuse if recycling and chipping is not an option.
Perhaps Langford needs to look to other municipalities in managing the “donation” of garden refuse into good mulch and material for city gardens and properties.