Tomorrow (Fri) is the first day of the month-long open burning window in the CVRD and North Cowichan.

Chloe Boyle, Cowichan Valley Regional District environmental technician says before you light a match to that pile of natural wood, prunings or branches, it’s important to check the venting index.

“Regardless if you are under the Municipality of North Cowichan, the CVRD or the province’s jurisdiction, if the venting index is poor or fair you shouldn’t be burning because those air pollutants are just going to sit in our atmosphere and cause detrimental health effects.”

Boyle says residents cannot burn garbage, construction waste, leaves or grass clippings but those items can be dropped off at any of the CVRD recycling facilities.

Boyle says the Cowichan Valley has some of the worst air quality in Canada.

“Alot of that is due to geography because we are situated in a valley so we have these inversions where the air gets trapped in the valley. Anything that we can do locally to improve our air quality just improves the health and well being of everyone in our community.”

Listen for the venting index report at 7 and noon right after the weather report on Juice FM, or you can find it yourself at https://www.cvrd.bc.ca/air