Wood heating sparks smog warning in Gatineau, Maniwaki

Environment Canada has issued a smog warning for the Gatineau and Maiwaki area, blaming wood heating for the rise in pollutants.

Environment Canada has issued a warning, blaming wood burning for particulates

Environment Canada is blaming wood-burning appliances for an increase in airborne particulates after issuing a smog warning for Gatineau and Maniwaki. (Olga_Narcissa/Shutterstock)

Environment Canada has issued a smog warning for the Gatineau and Maniwaki areas, blaming wood heating for the rise in pollutants.

According to the agency, wood heating is the most common cause of winter smog warnings in Quebec due to the prevalence of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces.

Levels of air pollutants are expected to increase this evening and remain high into Monday morning.

Burning wood generates more pollutants than industrial activities and transportation, according to the statement.

Residents are being advised to avoid intense physical activity outdoors until the warning is lifted and try to avoid using fireplaces and wood-burning stoves if possible.

There is no such warning for the Pontiac area or the Ontario side of the Ottawa River.

Montreal recently introduced tough bylaws against wood-burning appliances.

Residents are not able to use the appliances during smog warnings and will need to change their appliance to an approved, lower-emission model by Oct. 1, 2018. The prohibition on stoves doesn't apply during power outages of longer than three hours.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated wood stoves would be prohibited in Montreal on Oct. 1. In fact, only uncertified stoves with emission rates of more than 2.5 g/hour of fine particles will be prohibited.
    Jan 15, 2018 5:22 PM ET