I'd like to commend Heather Little, who recently took a complaint on "recreational fires" to the Altoona City Council.
My family has suffered since 1995 from living downwind of wood fire smoke. One or more neighbors hold parties during spring, summer and fall with a fire pit, and a neighboring auto repair shop heats with wood during the winter.
These neighbors leave their smoky wood fires burning for hours. We are directly downwind, and the stench is offensive at best and acrid at worst.
We've called the fire department and fire marshall, but there are no regulations prohibiting these practices.
We have nothing against neighbors grilling with charcoal, or the neighboring restaurant that uses wood when cooking for brief periods. We would not mind the shop heating with wood if only they would not produce such heavy smoke for such prolonged periods. My wife and son both suffer from allergies, and the smoke makes things much worse. It's enough to burn your eyes at times.
City Council would do us all a favor by an outright ban on outdoor fires which directly affect neighbors and by limiting the length of time a heating source can produce offensive smoke.
William Clark, Altoona