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LETTER: Time to douse the fires

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Typically, on a warm breezy summers day, I love to hang my washing on the line in the backyard. There’s nothing like the fresh scent from clothes dried outdoors.

The only thing I had to worry about was to shake every piece, so no insects were on it.

Nowadays, it seems that I have to be cautious about something else — people having open fires.

They burn everything from household garbage to toxic materials to trees. There’s no way to regulate what is burned, so why not ban it altogether?

I know of an instance where someone had laundry on the line and their neighbour asked them to take their clothes in because they intended to light a pit fire. The audacity!

C’mon people, we’re better than that.

Here’s another situation to illustrate my point: many people rely on opening up some windows to get relief from the heat and humidity during the summer. Of course, opening windows to circulate air is nice any time of the year, but, instead of getting fresh air, you’re exposed to smoke and soot from drums and pits and outdoor fireplaces.

Why do people have these fires?

They’re burning garbage, waste materials they don’t want. In residential areas, you either put it out to the curb or take it to the dump yourself. If burning only affected you it might be OK. If it affects others, it’s not.

Do you want another argument? Sure you do. Here it is — many residences have heat pumps/heat exchangers/air conditioners in their homes. They require clean air to operate efficiently, which doesn’t happen if the air quality outside is poor.

It comes down to the laws governing these fires and the thoughtfulness of neighbours.

If you like sitting around a crackling fire and admiring the flames, why not watch the fireplace channel on the TV?

My fear now is that I’m going to be bombarded with smoke if this letter is published. God help me!

Jeff Holmes

Shearstown

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