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Report a bonfire or smoke nuisance

Use this page to make a complaint about a bonfire or smoke nuisance in the Bath and North East Somerset area.


Warning If you are concerned about a lit bonfire being out of control or in a dangerous place please call 999 and ask for the fire service

Bonfires are legal providing that it doesn't cause an unreasonable nuisance to others. If you are being negatively affected by a bonfire, we will assess the nuisance. 

Bonfires we will investigate: 

  • Bonfires that are smouldering for long periods of time, especially overnight 
  • Bonfires that start either one hour before dusk or one hour before dawn 
  • Unattended bonfires 
  • Bonfires that are disturbing the enjoyment of your garden or home
  • Frequent bonfires when your washing is out to dry
  • Bonfires that burn oily rags, rubber, plastics, foams, car tyres or similar
  • Bonfires that burn damp grass cuttings
Find out about bonfires we don't investigate

We don't investigate:

  • One-off bonfires burning material in small amounts
  • Small bonfires that are away from trees, fences and homes

Smoke nuisances from chimneys

The City of Bath is a designated Smoke Control Area. It is illegal to burn smoky fuels such as wood and coal in an open fireplace or in a non-approved wood burning or multi-fuel stove.

We can investigate smoke from:

  • a building chimney if the smoke lasts longer than 15 minutes after it was lit
  • an appliance - unless it is an ‘exempt appliance’

Properties within Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Keynsham and the surrounding villages are not in the Smoke Control Area.

Before you report it

It’s always a good idea to try and resolve problems informally. Try and talk to the person responsible for the bonfire, they may not be aware that they are causing a problem. 

We only take enforcement action when the bonfire or smoke is shown to be a statutory nuisance. To be classed as a statutory nuisance, it must be clear that the fire or smoke has a significant impact upon people or nature nearby.

If you can't talk to the person responsible, then you can report it to us. 

Before you make a report you will need the following information:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and email address
  • The address you are complaining about and the type of nuisance
  • When and for how long the nuisance normally occurs
  • The way the nuisance affects you

We will not investigate anonymous complaints.

Report it

You can report a bonfire or smoke nuisance using our online form.

Report it

Next steps

We will make an assessment based on these points: 

  • The times at which the bonfire, chimney or appliance is lit
  • How often it burns
  • How long it lasts
  • Intensity of the smoke
  • Type of smoke
  • The location and characteristics of the area 

We may then ask you to complete a log sheet to keep track of when the nuisance occurs.