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Report a bonfire, smoke problems and air pollution


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 responsibly.

Bonfire safety

  • Build bonfires well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges.
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire and never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries.
  • 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 fire.

Report a bonfire

Emergencies: if a bonfire is out of control or built in a dangerous location, contact the Fire Service immediately.

In an emergency, call 999 for the Fire Service

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.

Report a bonfire problem (opens in a new window)

Chimney smoke

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 smoke.

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.

Report a problem with chimney smoke (opens in a new window)

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.

Report smoke problems and air pollution from industrial premises (opens in a new window)


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