Letter: Necessary to burn in rural areas

As for composting, how long do you think all this would take to decompose?

Necessary to burn in rural areas

Re: Burning editorial

Once again it comes down to urban vs. rural. You mention a backyard. I picture that being a piece of property with a fenced yard. There might be a few trees, shrubbery, lawn and some flowers and the like. This person can deal with the small amount of burnables such as some pruning clippings and the odd branch. Taking this small amount to a recycling facility is not a problem. Some can even afford a company to deal with all that.

Rural to me means acreage. In our case, we have a forest to deal with plus all the landscaping that we put in. We have to manage all this on our own. Being pensioners, we can not afford to hire a company to manage all this. We don’t have a truck to haul anything away. There will be some large tress that will be taken down due to root rot and one heading towards a power line. There will be lots of firewood. There will also be a poop load of branches. If any are large enough, we cut them up for pre-burn but that still leaves the small ends. When we are finished cleaning up all this plus all that we cleaned up from the forest floor after the windstorms, we are talking dump truck loads. If the urban population wants to chip in to hire a loader and a dump truck, we would welcome the assistance. Of course this won’t happen as we are left to deal with all this on our own.

As for composting, how long do you think all this would take to decompose? We have to do this every year remember. Where are we to put all this? There is only so much open space. You don’t want to make piles in the bush because that is a fire hazard which is why we clean up the debris in the first place.

As to your picture of the black smoke from a fire, obviously that would be considered illegal and should be reported. The smoke from our burns are whitish grey. We tend the fire constantly with a tractor and hand tools. A big pile will be ashes in a few hours. We still turn the ashes to ensure everything is burnt. For our fires, it is in a dedicated spot that is safe to burn in. We also run a hose, just in case. Not everyone does what we do but don’t paint the responsible people and the bad apples with the same brush. After properly managing our property for 35 years, I think we have done pretty well.

We started out with very few people in the vicinity and all with large acreages and have seen multiple housing developments encroaching our border. Are we to now act like a city dweller and spend what little we have to appease the neighbours? They should be giving us some slack. Who was here first? I didn’t ask for people to move here. I also didn’t request that Fisher Road Recycling move in behind us. They will take the brush from the local areas because the CVRD pays them to. We sure wouldn’t, even if we could. We would just be perpetuating the odours that permeate Cobble Hill.

Ed Aiken

Cobble Hill