With the global COVID-19 pandemic worsening by the day, the Municipality of North Cowichan is asking residents to avoid backyard burning and limit the use of woodstoves.

The Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that clogs airways and restricts breathing and while we are in an open burning window until April 15, North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said it’s important that we don’t burn yard waste.

“The reality of COVID-19 is that it’s a respiratory issue, so folks with respiratory issues, like asthma and those kinds of things, are already compromised enough at this time of year without having a bunch of extra smoke in the air,” said Siebring.

“Let’s not burn, Bings Creek and the other regional landfill facilities have free dumping for yard waste,” added Siebring.

While many Cowichan Valley residents are self-isolating to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, Siebring said burning your yard waste, while tempting, isn’t a good idea.

“I know it’s a great opportunity (and I’ve done it myself) to get out in the yard and do a little work; get the garden ready, weed the beds, and mow the lawn,” said Siebring.

He added, “There are people with fairly large rural properties here that have a bunch of yard waste that they want to get rid of and, technically we’re into the open burning window (between March 15 and April 15), with some restrictions in North Cowichan. It’s tempting to pile all that stuff up and set a match too it.”

Under normal circumstances, burning is only allowed when the venting index is ‘good.’

Click here for the venting index.