Bonfires - advice and the law

The law regarding bonfires and smoke

Most people believe that there are specific by-laws to prohibit bonfires in gardens and allotments and for people having BBQs, but there aren't. An outright ban would be difficult to enforce; the occasional bonfire may not cause a problem. Regular bonfires can be dealt with under the nuisance legislation covered in the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Under the Highways Act 1980, anyone lighting a fire and allowing smoke to drift across a road faces a fine if it endangers traffic. In this case, the police should be contacted by calling 101.

Please read our advice if you are having a bonfire

To complain, you can report a problem with a bonfire

Domestic chimneys

Nuisance legislation may also be used to deal with smoke coming from domestic chimneys.

For guidance on using your open fire or wood burning stove more efficiently and help reduce your maintenance costs, visit department for environment, food & rural affairs practical guide to open fires and wood burning stoves (

Clean Air Act 1993

In addition to the powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deal with smoke, certain emissions of smoke from domestic chimneys, industrial, trade and business premises are covered by the Clean Air Act 1993.

Burning trade waste

Information on the burning/disposal of trade waste (GOV.UK)

Smoke control areas

Other than a small number of houses on Watling Street in Witherley, there are no smoke control areas within the borough: list of properties in the smoke free zone (PDF)

Last updated: ‎04‎/‎07‎/‎2023‎ ‎15‎:‎58‎