New Burn Better campaign for healthy communities

The Government of Yukon, in collaboration with the City of Whitehorse and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, is launching the Burn Better campaign to promote clean air in Yukon’s communities and neighbourhoods.

The smoke from wood stoves can affect your home and the health of people around you, particularly children, seniors and people with lung conditions, heart disease or other chronic conditions. By applying five simple burning tips, you can help ensure we have clean air in Yukon homes and communities.

The five tips are:

  • burn dry, seasoned wood;
  • do not let the fire smoulder;
  • clean cold ashes frequently;
  • do not burn glossy papers, cardboard, treated wood, composite wood, painted wood or waste; and
  • test your wood with a moisture meter – 20 per cent moisture or less is best.

A clean environment supports Yukoners’ health. It is up to all of us to learn the right fire-building techniques, as they will help keep our homes and communities free of dangerous compounds.

Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost

As winter approaches, I encourage all residents with wood stoves to practise clean wood burning techniques for the benefit of everyone’s health. Clean burning helps reduce energy costs and protects our air quality.

City of Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis

Quick facts 
  • In a community where wood heating is common, wood smoke can be responsible for as much as 25 per cent of particulate matter in the air, eight per cent of the volatile organic compounds and seven per cent of the carbon monoxide in the air.

  • A Whitehorse Air Quality Monitoring Study took place from 2015 to 2017 to measure the air quality with a focus on the impacts of wood smoke. The work identified relatively high air pollution in four neighbourhoods: Kopper King, Hidden Valley, Takhini Trailer Park and Riverdale.

  • Citizens living in Whitehorse can see the Whitehorse Air Quality Health Index or download the app for Android or iPhone and iPad and the Guide to Air Quality Health Index forecasts for more information about air quality in Whitehorse.

Contact 

Stewart Burnett
Cabinet Communications
867-332-0480
stewart.burnett@gov.yk.ca

Julie Ménard
Communications, Health and Social Services
867-667-8478
julie.menard @gov.yk.ca

Technical Contact:

Dr. Brendan Hanley
Chief Medical Officer of Health
867-456-6136

Glenda Koh
Environmental Coordinator, City of Whitehorse
867-668-8652

 

News release #: 
19-282