Information and advice on when bonfires are necessary, fines for unlawful bonfires and how to contact our Pollution service.

Please do not light bonfires or burn garden waste at this time. It may be harmful to people living nearby with breathing difficulties.

Instead, please keep your garden waste, compost it, or set up a garden waste collection.

Are bonfires necessary?

Bonfire smoke can have damaging health effects and although serious harm is unlikely if exposure is brief, it can cause significant problems for people with asthma, bronchitis, and heart conditions.

Bonfires generate around 30,000 nuisance complaints to local authorities each year. As well as causing health problems, smoke prevents neighbours from enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging out washing.

Please note: you should never burn household or commercial waste on a bonfire, only garden waste. However, we encourage more environmentally friendly ways of disposing of your garden waste. For more information see garden waste collection.

Lighting bonfires

If you have a garden bonfire please observe the following:

  • burn garden waste only
  • site the bonfire in a remote area of the garden where the smoke will not blow onto neighbouring properties - consider the direction the wind is blowing
  • douse the fire with water once the material has been burnt to avoid smouldering and fire risk
  • never leave a bonfire unattended
  • be considerate to your neighbours.

Fines for unlawful bonfires

The council can issue legal notices to people having nuisance bonfires. Offenders can be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000 for residential properties and £20,000 for businesses.

Further information

For advice on bonfires and bonfire regulations or to report bonfire nuisance contact us on the details below.

Pollution service


Sustainable Communities,
3rd Floor Zone B, Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk,
Croydon, CR0 1EA
United Kingdom