Bonfires, air pollution and smells

Report a bonfire or air pollution issue, including smoke, dust and smells and the rules for having bonfires.

If you’re bothered by a bonfire, air pollution or smell

Try and talk to the person responsible.  They may not realise they’re causing a problem.  If this doesn’t resolve the problem or you can’t talk to the person responsible, you can report it to us. You'll need to tell us how the problem has affected you over the last 14 days.

Report a bonfire, air pollution or smell online

Other ways to contact us

Call 0117 922 2500, option 4.


Bonfires can cause nuisance to other people and animals:

  • by making asthma, bronchitis or other respiratory conditions worse
  • by affecting visibility for drivers on nearby roads
  • because fire can spread to nearby fences or buildings
  • because piles of garden waste are often used by animals for shelter

There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws against the nuisance they can cause.  This can lead to legal action being taken against the person responsible for the fire.

Burning household waste

You can’t get rid of household waste in a way that will cause pollution or harm to people’s health.  This includes burning it. 

There are better ways of dealing with waste that don’t affect air quality:

Danger to traffic by smoke

You could be fined if you light a fire and allow the smoke to drift across a road, causing a danger to traffic.

Having a bonfire

If you would still like to have a bonfire:

  • use dry material only
  • avoid burning at weekends and bank holidays
  • don’t burn tyres, cables, plastics, rubber, painted products or household waste
  • don’t leave a fire unattended, even when it’s just smouldering
  • warn neighbours that you are going to have a bonfire

Contact information

Pollution Control (St Annes)

PO Box 3176

Bristol, BS3 9FS

Opening Hours

Phone: 0117 922 2500, option 4

Our normal opening hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm
  • Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm

Out of hours

We run an out of hours service, which is available during these times:

  • Sunday to Tuesday, 7.30pm to midnight
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7.30pm to 1am
  • Fridays and Saturdays, 7.00pm to 3.30am

Call 0117 922 2050 if you would like an officer to visit you about your pollution or noise complaint.

The service is provided by two officers.  They cover the whole city during times of peak demand, this works out to be about 75% of the year.  As we have to prioritise the calls we receive, there may be a delay in our response.

The service doesn’t operate on bank holidays.