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Garden Fires and Bonfires: don’t be tempted!


North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, local authorities and other partner agencies across North Wales are urging the public not to be tempted to burn garden or household waste.

At the moment, we are all staying at home with our families more than usual. The warmer weather means that a lot of us will be sitting out in our gardens, drying washing outside, and more homes will have their windows open.

We are asking residents to think twice before lighting garden fires and bonfires to protect those who may have respiratory problems by not creating smoke in the open air.

Smoke from garden waste fires produces carbon monoxide and pollutants that can irritate airways, the skin and eyes. This can cause coughing, wheezing and chest pain, particularly if it is damp and smouldering, affecting people with asthma and other respiratory diseases. These people are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Burning plastic, rubber or painted materials not only creates an unpleasant smell but also produces a range of poisonous compounds.

Avoiding lighting fires will also help our emergency services at this time as fires can easily spread and cause damage and injury.

We are asking you not to light fires at this time and:

  • Consider your neighbours who have to spend their time at home
  • Avoid exacerbating symptoms for those who have respiratory problems

Residents can be fined if they light a bonfire and allow smoke to drift onto the road and become a danger to traffic.

Your local council’s Pollution Control Team can also intervene if someone causes a frequent nuisance with garden fires or bonfires and reasoning with them has failed. Occasional garden fires would not be considered a nuisance.

Let’s all continue to work together to help everyone stay safe in all our communities.

Tim Owen, Arson Reduction Manager, explains:

“We are urging the public to avoid being tempted to burn garden or household waste in these unprecedented times - what may have been intended to be just a small fire, or just a bit of fun, can quickly spread to become out of control.

“Smoke from such fires can cause breathing problems and worsen respiratory conditions such as asthma, adding to the risks caused by Covid-19.

Please take responsibility for your actions – don’t fuel the fire. We are asking you to help us to reduce demand during this time.”

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