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Fire Service urges residents not to burn waste, after spate of bonfire call-outs

Bonfire in Hardingstone

Firefighters are urging people not to have bonfires at home, after receiving a series of call-outs to waste being burnt.

Last weekend (May 16 and 17), Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service dealt with seven calls linked to bonfires or other fires in the open.

These calls involved either ‘out of control’ bonfires or were simply calls from people worried about controlled burns and the potential for toxic smoke.

The attached picture was taken at an ‘out of control’ bonfire in Hardingstone attended by Mereway firefighters last week. The resident had attempted to burn some fencing panel but the scale of the fire escalated to the point that the fire service assisted in extinguishing the blaze.

Watch Manager Rob Green said: “In this situation, owners had been burning an old fence but we were concerned as there were trees nearby which could potentially have caught alight.

“Bonfires can be set with the good intention of carrying them out safely, but often people do not realise how quickly they can spread out of control. In this incident it was lucky that there was no serious damage, but with some fires we have seen, flames can spread to surrounding foliage or even property.”

People who have accumulated garden or other waste at home are being reminded that the Household Waste Recycling Centres in Northamptonshire opened earlier this week. Composting and storage should also be used as alternatives to bonfires at home.

Burning waste is also inadvisable at home as it can create air pollution that can exacerbate breathing difficulties for neighbours, some of whom could potentially have Covid-19.

For advice on composting, visit: To find out more about the opening times of recycling centres, visit:
If anyone is concerned about a neighbour having repeated bonfires, please make contact with your local or district council for advice.

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