Bonfires at private residential properties are permitted so long
as the smoke fumes don’t affect public highways or people living or
working nearby. Burning household or commercial waste is not an
acceptable or environmentally friendly way to dispose of household
rubbish. Rubbish and commercial waste should be disposed of
- Build bonfires well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences
- Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire and never burn
dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or
- Don’t leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it
until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with
plenty of water.
- Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of
Report a bonfire
Emergencies: if a bonfire is out of control or built in a dangerous location,
contact the Fire Service immediately.
Non emergencies: use the form below to report unlit bonfires on public land. If smoke from a bonfire is affecting you, please first discuss the problem with the person responsible. If this doesn’t resolve the matter, then report it to us.For any unlit bonfires on Rochdale Boroughwide Housing land please report them to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing.
The majority of occupied properties in the Borough are in smoke
control areas. The only settlements of more than two dwellings that
are excluded are at Red Lumb and Lanehead in Rochdale. The only
other areas not covered are the open moor lands around
Littleborough and Milnrow.
The smoke control areas are designed to limit the types of fuel
and appliances used, but not to completely eliminate smoke from
chimneys. They require that either an authorised smokeless fuel is
burnt or an exempt appliance is used. Exempt appliances can burn an
unauthorised or inherently smoky solid fuel without emitting
It's an offence to emit smoke from a fireplace in a smoke
control area if the smoke is caused by burning a unauthorised fuel
in a non-exempt fireplace. When a problem is reported, we need to
establish whether the law is being broken and not simply whether
smoke is being emitted.
Smoke problems and air pollution from industrial premises
We are responsible for regulating air pollution and the overall
environmental impact of industrial premises covered by
environmental permits. We are required to take reasonable steps to
investigate and, if appropriate, take formal action to address
forms of air pollution. If you report a problem to us, we will
investigate and assess it and we may need to visit you
and the source of the pollution.
Examples of problems you can report include: emissions
of dark smoke, complaints relating to dust and grit (for example,
from construction sites and sandblasting) and odours from
commercial premises. Please note: we are not able to deal with
complaints relating to cooking smells from domestic houses, or
cigarette smoke drift between domestic residences.