Students walk through smoke

Students walk through smoke as part of their daily trip to school.

Imagine the concern if this much cigarette smoke was part of the daily walk to and from school?

These photos were taken on the last day of school in 2019. Thick smoke poured out of a couple of homes on this Courtenay street just as students were walking home from school.

While drivers probably smelled the smoke as they drove through, the youth who walked home were bathed in it for much longer. On a winter’s day, this is likely a common experience.

Active living?

How can we promote “active living” when the environment children and adults have to be active in is full of toxic smoke?

Like cigarette smoke, we know the health risks from wood smoke are extensive.

Unlike cigarette smoke, we are doing nothing to protect people from having to breathe in wood smoke many months of the year.


A wood stove is smokiest when it is started cold — and this pollution is not counted when testing a stove’s certification level. But people are still forced to breathe in this pollution while it happens.


This was taken in Cumberland at about 8:00 a.m. Students would have started walking or biking to school soon after the photo was taken. There was no air advisory this day (2016).


A cyclist rides into a smoky area on their way to the trails in Cumberland (2018).


Posted in Children, Health, Problem, Wood Stoves and tagged , , , , , .


  1. These are powerful photos of smoke in the air in the Comox Valley. Have they been sent to Courtenay Council and/or to Cumberland? Thank you for your work. I have sent an email to Courtenay Council asking when we will receive some action regarding smoke in the air.

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