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Think of others, don't light bonfires

Last Modified April 03, 2020

Hertsmere residents are being urged not to light bonfires at this time of unprecedented public health emergency.

Our Environmental Health team, which is responsible for pollution control in the borough, has received an increased number of complaints about bonfires since the lockdown began last month. Officers are concerned as the warm weather approaches, more householders will be tempted to light bonfires, which could exacerbate coronavirus symptoms in sufferers. Coronavirus is known to cause serious respiratory problems.

Allotment holders are also being asked to dispose of green waste from their plot by composting as much as possible and avoid bonfires. While homeowners with open fires and wood burning stoves should follow DEFRA’s practical guide to minimise the environmental and health impact.

Councillor Seamus Quilty, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “It is important to be especially considerate at this time, when people are confined to their homes and unable to escape unpleasant fumes.

“Bonfires can also become out of control or cause accidents, creating extra pressure on the already busy emergency services.

“Please continue to use your brown mixed recycling and green waste bins to full capacity and if you are unable to fit all your recycling into your bin we would request that it is stored until the next collection or the household recycling centres reopen again.

“We must all help each other as much as possible by not lighting bonfires, to help protect the NHS and save lives.”

DEFRA’s practical guide to open fires and wood burning stoves is available to view here.

If you are bothered by smoke from a bonfire, consider speaking to the person responsible for the bonfire first, from a safe social distance.

Alternatively nuisance bonfires can be reported to the council’s Environmental Health team using the online form, by emailing environmental.health@hertsmere.gov.uk or by calling 0208 2077435.

Posted on Friday 3rd April 2020

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