I read Robb Davis’ commentary on wood smoke with interest, as I am one of those who have health issues exacerbated by smoke. I am a migraineur. I love my neighborhood and wonderful neighbors, with the exception of one. Unfortunately, this neighbor burns wood and other stuff on a regular basis and has two fireplaces. The smoke fills my house and garage and I cannot open windows to air it out when she is burning or I just let in more contaminants.
I employed Robb’s “citizen-centered approach” after an episode when paper ash from her fire fell into my hot tub and blew around my back yard. I brought literature, was polite and apologetic. The response was a screaming woman telling me she bought a house with a fireplace and would burn whatever and whenever she pleased, and if I didn’t like it I could sell my house and move.
Some people are going to remain self-centered, inconsiderate and environmentally unconcerned no matter what. The air we breathe belongs to all of us; nobody should be permitted to ruin it. I can’t believe there are homes in my area (East Central Davis) that were built without heaters (though many have gas wall heaters), yet this area has been determined to have the worst particulate matter contamination in Davis.
I am not a strong advocate of regulation, but I do believe this critical issue needs some regulation. We’ve tried other means and they haven’t worked. It’s time.