Tips on Making a Wood Smoke Complaint

Make complaints as soon as possible after observing wood smoke. The sooner we receive a complaint, the sooner we can begin to address the issue.

Provide the following information to the operator or our complaint web form to help us track down or confirm the source:

  1. Describe the incident:
    • What colour is the smoke (black, grey, white)? What is the odour (campfire, plastic, garbage, chemicals)? 
    • When do you usually observe the smoke (day time, evening, weekends, holidays)? How long does the smell last (seconds, minutes, hours)? How long has this been going on (first time, weeks, months, years)?
    • Where is the smoke coming from? Can you see the source? If yes, to what extent? Can you take pictures to show where the smoke is coming from? Can you smell it inside your home? If yes, to what extent?
    • How strong is the smell (very weak to very strong)? How thick is the smoke (just visible, somewhat transparent, opaque)?

  2. How is the wood smoke affecting you and your family?
    An officer may call you about your complaint to ask more questions or for clarification. For persistent wood smoke problems, we will need your help to collect evidence that pollution is occurring. This might include being interviewed by an officer, allowing us to conduct monitoring in your yard, keeping a wood smoke diary , signing a statement about how the wood smoke is affecting your or your family’s health or, in rare cases, testifying at a public hearing.

  3. What is/was the weather like during the wood smoke episode?
    • What direction was the wind from?
    • Was the wind light, moderate or strong?
    • Was it sunny, overcast or raining?
    • What was the temperature outside?