Let's Clear the Air About Wood Smoke

wood smoke in riverdale

Riverdale, Whitehorse - YG photo

Burn the right wood the right way and it will save you time, money and will reduce the amount of harmful contaminants you might otherwise contribute to the air around your home.

fire wood

Burn the Right Wood the Right Way



check box Preheat your chimney before starting a full fire by using a small kindling fire. This allows for better air circulation and therefore better combustion.
check box Burn only seasoned, dry, split wood. To properly season wood, it should be cut, split and stacked in a covered area for about six months (including the summer months) before burning.
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Never burn green, wet, treated or painted wood, garbage, plastic, cardboard or glossy or bleached paper. Doing so releases poisons.

check box Remember that fire needs oxygen. A clean and efficient burn requires ample air flow, so don’t overload your stove and don’t damp it down too much. Smoldering fires produce more pollutants because the wood is not being combusted completely.
check box Running a high fire for 10 to 15 minutes after each refueling will help the wood burn better and will produce more heat for the amount of wood you use.
check box Gradually reduce the air supply after starting or feeding a fire. A sudden reduction can make the fire smolder (resulting in a lot of pollution) until it recovers.
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Check the chimney for creosote build-up. A build-up of creosote might mean that your fires are not as efficient as they should be. While you’re up there, clean the chimney to prevent a chimney fire.


wood stove

  Install an Efficient Wood Stove


check box The single most important thing you can do to reduce pollution from your woodstove is to install an efficient woodstove. Check that it meets current standards set by the Canadian Standards Association or the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
check box EPA approved woodstoves employ some simple technologies that allow smoke to be combusted prior to leaving through the chimney, resulting in a reduction of up to 98% of the pollutants that come from your stove and an increase in efficiency of up to 38%. That’s up to 38% less cutting, bucking, hauling, stacking and splitting or 38% less that you pay for wood!
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Replace your existing woodstove with either a new EPA approved woodstove or a clean burning ULC approved pellet stove and you’ll qualify for a $300 grant from the Energy Solutions Centre’s Good Energy rebate program. For more information, see the Energy Solutions Centre Website

Additional Resources


Environmental Programs

Environment Yukon

Government of Yukon

Box 2703 (V-8)

Whitehorse, Yukon

Y1A 2C6

Phone: 867-667-5683
Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5683
Fax: 867-393-6213

Email: envprot@gov.yk.ca