News Article Archive

Residents urged not to light bonfires during COVID-19 pandemic

28th April 2020

West Oxfordshire District Council has seen a major increase in complaints about bonfires in the last few weeks and is calling on residents to be more considerate of those with respiratory conditions and people in self-isolation.

Cllr Norman MacRae, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “These are difficult and challenging times for us all whether you are adjusting to life and work at home, isolating yourself or looking after loved ones.

“Most of us are spending more time at home and while having bonfires can be tempting, they carry risks for vulnerable members of our communities. Bonfires cause issues for your neighbours, especially those with respiratory problems, people who are shielding themselves from COVID-19 or anyone who may have contracted the virus.

“COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system so I would ask residents to please refrain from lighting fires which may affect vulnerable people while lockdown continues.”

Burning doesn’t just affect the vulnerable. Bonfires and drifting smoke are a nuisance for neighbours wanting to spend time in their gardens or keep windows open.

Bonfires can also get out of hand and take up the valuable time and resources of the fire service which may put others at risk during the pandemic.

Cllr MacRae added: “Please be considerate of your neighbours and use alternatives such as composting or storing any waste until government restrictions are lifted. We know this isn't an ideal solution for everyone but these are not ideal times. You can put most of your garden waste to use - a successful compost heap needs lots of brown material as well as green. Don’t burn it, use prunings and dry material to improve your compost heap.”

Environmental and Regulatory Services are required to investigate bonfire complaints whilst following guidance and procedures for social distancing. If considered a waste offence or statutory nuisance, it may result in enforcement action and fines.



News Articles