Bonfires during the COVID-19 outbreak

This is the advice provided by Wiltshire Council

There is mounting evidence that fine particles contained in smoke and other combustion emissions can cause damage to health and aggravate other health conditions. One study has even found extremely fine particles in brain tissue, linking it to dementia.

During normal times this can lead distress and discomfort for those with Asthma, COPD and breathing related diseases.

We are now all aware of the potential effects of COVID-19 on our health and have heeded the Governments Message to stay home and stay safe. In doing so we are protecting the health of others of all ages who have breathing related conditions and illnesses and it is especially important at this time to protect those who are vulnerable from those factors which may cause them harm and make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

Please do not have any bonfires whilst the Coronavirus controls are in place and protect others and your own health. Protect the NHS.

Allotment committees and users, as well as householders have a particularly important role in ensuring responsible behaviour by their members.

You can stockpile green waste, start composting to rot down material for use as a soil improver, sign up for a garden green waste collection from Wiltshire Council or simply let the job wait until the household recycling centres re-open to the public.

Never burn garden waste that is still green or recently cut, and never burn any other household waste.

If this advice is not followed and there is evidence of a risk to health and or the use or enjoyment of another’s property is being affected Wiltshire Council may serve a formal notice on the person responsible. This may result in legal action.

To report an incident of a problem bonfire please contact Wiltshire Council.

How do I complain about a bonfire?

During the current COVID-19 crisis if you are affected by smoke from a bonfire, Wiltshire Council would recommend that you discuss it initially with your neighbour, if this is possible while observing social distancing and self isolation rules. Always try to be reasonable, otherwise your discussions may end up in further arguments and create unwanted future neighbour tension. Explain the details of your concern and try and agree a reasonable solution or compromise. You may also want to print out the anonymous COVID-19 bonfire letter to neighbour to assist you in this process if you are unable to speak to your neighbour directly.

If this doesn’t work and smoke from the same property has recently affected you on more than one occasion complete the smoke monitoring log sheets found on this page and contact Wiltshire Council.

Wiltshire Council are unable to investigate anonymous complaints and they must have the address of where the smoke is coming from. Please ensure you detail how the smoke is impacting on you within your property. If you have any photos please send them with the log sheets.

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