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Bonfires, air pollution and smoke problems

See how to report problems with bonfires, smoke and air pollution, when we hold bonfire events and view bonfire safety advice.

Report a bonfire, smoke or air pollution

To report problems with a bonfire, smoke or air pollution:

  1. In an emergency, ring 999 - if a bonfire is out of control or built in a dangerous location, contact the Fire Service immediately.
  2. Use the form below to report non emergency problems to us. If smoke from a bonfire is affecting you, please first discuss the problem with the person responsible before reporting, if possible.
  3. After you've reported a problem, w

Report a bonfire, smoke problems or air pollution (opens in a new window)

What bonfires, smoke and air problems you can report

You can report a one off incident or continuous problems with any of the following:

  • Large bonfires or people regularly having bonfires on a weekly basis
  • Smoke from a chimney in a smoke control area - view smoke control areas in Rochdale borough
  • Burning household waste, plastics, rubber or painted materials
  • Dust and grit from construction sites
  • Smells from bonfires or commercial premises
  • Ash falling onto your house, garden or the road
  • Smoke from a bonfire blocking view of the road
  • Dark smoke coming from bonfires or buildings 

What bonfires, smoke and air problems you shouldn't report

We don't consider the following as antisocial bonfires, smoke or air pollution:

  • A small, one-off bonfire where the smoke fumes aren't affecting a public road or people living or working nearby
  • Bonfires on Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) land or properties - please report a bonfire to RBH directly
  • Burning garden waste in small amounts without much smoke
  • Organised bonfires on bonfire night
  • Smoke from barbecues or cigarettes
  • Smells from people cooking
  • Chimney smoke which is from burning an authorised fuel or using an exempt appliance, such as a wood burning stove - view a list of authorised fuels and exempt appliances

Clean Air Plan for Greater Manchester

Air pollution damages our health. We're therefore working to create a Clean Air Plan for Greater Manchester together with the 9 other local authorities in Greater Manchester.

Council bonfires and firework displays

We usually hold some bonfires and firework displays to celebrate Bonfire Night. You can attend a display for FREE at different locations across the borough.

Bonfire Night safety advice

Have a safe Bonfire Night. Please consider attending an organised event rather then risking your safety by having your own bonfire.

Please note: we will remove any bonfires built on council land without our permission.

Bonfire safety advice

If you still want your own bonfire, please ensure you follow these guidelines:

  • Bonfires should be 18 metres from buildings, trees, fences, overhead cables and car parking areas. Only clean, dry timber should be burned.
  • Bonfires should be no more than 3 metres in height. There should be a suitable barrier around the bonfire to keep spectators 5 metres away.
  • Don't burn aerosols, batteries, bottles, foam-filled furniture, tins of paint or tyres.
  • Don't use petrol, paraffin, diesel or white spirit to light the bonfire - use firelighters instead.
  • Check that no children or animals are hiding in the bonfire before lighting.
  • Prepare for the party in advance and in daylight. On the night, you'll need a torch, a bucket of water, eye protection, gloves, a bucket of soft earth to put fireworks in and suitable supports and launchers if you're setting off Catherine wheels or rockets.

Fireworks and sparklers safety advice

If you're planning on hosting a fireworks party "be safe not sorry" and keep it free from accidents by following the Fireworks Code:

  • Ideally, attend an organised display. Remember that alcohol and fireworks don't mix and may lead to injury.
  • Buy fireworks from a reputable retailer and only those marked BS 7114.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box - never put fireworks in your pocket..
  • Follow the instructions on each firework. Light them at arm's length using a taper, stand well back and never go back to a lit firework. Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby if you're setting off fireworks in your garden.
  • Never throw fireworks and make sure you keep pets indoors.
  • Prepare for the party in advance and in daylight. On the night, you'll need a torch, a bucket of water, eye protection, gloves, a bucket of soft earth to put fireworks in and suitable supports and launchers if you're setting off Catherine wheels or rockets.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks and never give sparklers to a child under the age of 5. Leave the lighting of fireworks to responsible adults only.

Government bonfire and safety advice and the law

It's illegal to let fireworks off between 11pm and 7am. On Bonfire Night, this is extended so you can let off fireworks until midnight. It's also illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in a public place.

Related pages


0300 303 8871

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Public Protection Service​​
Number One Riversid​e​
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU