Say no to home bonfires during the on-going pandemic

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Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is asking the residents of Lancashire to think twice before burning any garden or domestic waste at home during the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

Our plea comes as we look to both reduce the number of nuisance fires we attend across the county and also prevent unnecessary suffering and harm as many such fires are getting out of control.

Good weather coupled with people staying at home has perhaps provided more time for catching up on chores around the house or tidying up the garden. However, this combined with some temporarily reduced waste collection services and closed recycling centres, has seen people disposing of waste in other ways. 

In recent weeks both the fire service and local councils have been contacted by a growing number of residents who have been affected by smoke as a result of domestic bonfires in peoples gardens. This can be particularly unpleasant and problematic for those dealing with respiratory health issues and those shielding from the coronavirus.

Group Manager for Prevention and Protection, Mark Hutton said;

“Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service does not in itself have legal powers to intervene in nuisance behaviors however local councils do and we would encourage anyone who is being affected by nuisance fires to raise these concerns by contacting their local council.

This message is being backed by local councils as part of the Lancashire Resilience Forum. Together we have produced an information flyer which contains contact details for each local district council where nuisance fires can be reported to. 

Whilst we fully appreciate households may be experiencing a build-up of waste materials at the moment we are asking people to think twice about burning it and consider both their neighbours wellbeing and their own safety. 

The recent dry and breezy weather has resulted in tinder dry materials and gardens leading to many such fires growing out of control and spreading to fences, sheds, garages, vehicles and even people’s homes. When we have extinguished such fires the occupiers in almost every case have said something like ‘I can’t believe what has happened, I just didn’t realise how fast and big the fire would grow’. Please don’t take the chance.

Mark went on to say: 

‘We know people want to do everything they can to help during the pandemic, but one simple, really effective way to help is by not burning waste. When we deal with these entirely avoidable fires, or local councils have to deal with complaints, precious time and resources are being diverted from other activities. At this time both fire service and council staff are busy helping vulnerable people in the community deal with this challenging situation so we really would appeal for people to think about the wider impact of their actions – and keep themselves safe too.”