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Yorkshire Coast Asked to Avoid Outdoor Fires

Yorkshire Coast Asked to Avoid Outdoor Fires

Published by Jon Burke at 6:31am 8th April 2020.

Scarborough Borough Council is asking people not to be tempted to light bonfires to get rid of their rubbish during the coronavirus outbreak.

Its environmental health team is asking residents to postpone spring cleans and clear outs until the county council’s household waste recycling centres reopen, put suitable garden waste in their brown bin or consider home composting and ensure their usual recyclable materials are added to their blue bin.

Burning household items can create excessive smoke and noxious fumes that can harm the environment and public health. Smoke also prevents neighbours from enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging washing out.

There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws to address the nuisance they can cause. The council can take action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and could serve an abatement notice if it is satisfied that a nuisance is being caused.

Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities and Housing, Cllr Carl Maw,  said:

“I urge anyone thinking of having a bonfire, not to do so and above all, think about the health implications of bonfire smoke on those around you, especially during the current situation.” 

Anyone who has experienced a new nuisance from bonfires in their neighbourhood since the coronavirus outbreak began, can report it online at, by email to or by calling 01723 232323.

If bonfire smoke is drifting across a road and endangers traffic or causes injury, people should call 999 to report it to the police.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is also appealing to people not to have fires outside.

It's after the service attended two outdoor fires on Monday afternoon - one in Scarborough, the other in Whitby.

It says they can easily get out of hand, as one of the two led to a neighbour's shed catching fire.

The service's Head of Prevention and Protection, Dave Winspear, has been speaking to Yorkshire Coast Radio's Jon Burke..




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