Smoke gets in your lungs.

You may be turning your attention to the garden – if you are lucky enough to have one – during this stay-at-home emergency – but burning your waste may be making someone else’s confinement even worse.

Bath & North East Somerset Council is calling on residents to consider their own health and that of their neighbours by not having bonfires where possible during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

People are asked to avoid lighting fires in case others living near them have had their breathing affected due to the virus or have other respiratory problems that could be worsened by smoke.

Although garden waste collections have been suspended temporarily to ensure frontline services continue, the council is asking for residents’ cooperation in protecting everyone’s health by not burning their waste while they wait to have it collected.

Councillor Dine Romero, council Leader, said: “As we’ve seen through the Compassionate Communities hub to help our most vulnerable residents, there are strong communities in Bath and North East Somerset that are pulling together to support each other through this pandemic. We’re asking if people could also support their neighbours by not lighting bonfires while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Smoke can pose a risk to people’s health, so avoiding fires will reduce the chance of people having their airways affected and avoid further burden on the NHS.

“We appreciate that it’s inconvenient for residents that garden waste collections have been paused so we can continue to provide essential services, but I hope people can work with us on this and please hold onto their garden waste until we are able to start collecting it again.”

Some tips to reduce garden waste include:

Councils can take enforcement action if smoke becomes a statutory nuisance, which can result in a fine up to a maximum of £5,000.

Information about how to prevent a smoke nuisance and how to report issues to the council’s environmental protection team can be found here

For updates on all council services, go to

1 Comment

  1. I am very grateful to the council for sending out this advice, I just hope my neighbours will heed it. I am very sensitive to smoke and it tends to ruin many sunny days which I would otherwise have spent in my garden. Please could BANES council go further and consider banning bonfires for this period?

    The government’s 2019 clean air strategy has begun to take effect by banning the burning of coal and wet wood. Surely the banning of bonfires is a sensible next step?

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