When I moved to Boulder Creek 12 years ago, I knew I'd be burning wood to heat my home. This is the mountains, and that's what people do here, as they do in many other mountain areas. Propane is insanely expensive for home heating; electricity is way too expensive — plus, ever been through a five-day power outage?
Like some letter writers, I'm also bothered by the type of smoke wet and high-resin wood makes. So I bought an EPA-approved stove and took the installer's advice to burn only hardwood (oak and madrone) seasoned for at least a year. I also read everything I could on how to build fires to use less wood and produce less creosote. This didn't take a lot of time. The stove did cost a lot to buy and install; I cried when I found out how much. But it's been worth it. The smoke coming out of my chimney is nearly always white. Most of the time, all you can see are heat waves. I get it cleaned every one to two years. The type of heat can't be beat, and it works when there's no electricity. I can even cook on it.
Maybe woodstoves should be more regulated. Maybe outdoor burning should be eliminated. But I can't figure out why anyone would complain about having woodstoves. It makes no sense to me. Why live here if all smoke bothers you?Ann Thryft, Boulder Creek