Bonfires, air pollution and smoke problems

Smoke control areas

Under the Clean Air Act, local authorities may declare the whole or part of the borough to be a smoke control area.

It's an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building, from a furnace or from any fixed boiler if located in a designated smoke control area.

Locations of smoke control areas

The majority of the occupied properties in the borough are within the smoke control area.

The only settlements of more than 2 dwellings that are excluded are at Red Lumb and Lanehead in Rochdale. The only other areas that aren't covered are the open moorlands around Littleborough and Milnrow.

The borough is covered by a total of 60 orders brought in between 1954 and 1989. The orders refer to the burning of fuel in 'grates' or fireplaces.

Fuel you can burn in smoke control areas

The law requires that either an authorised smokeless fuel is burnt or an exempt appliance is used.

  • Exempt appliances are capable of burning unauthorised or inherently smoky solid fuel without emitting smoke.
  • From 1 May 2021, you can only burn logs if they're 'Ready to Burn'. Look out for the Ready to Burn logo on the logs you buy. More information about the Ready to Burn law.
  • It's an offence to emit smoke from a fireplace in a smoke control area if the smoke is caused by burning non-authorised fuel in a non-exempt fireplace.