skip to content

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Illegal Bonfires Putting Public at Risk

13/10/2009

Firefighters are teaming up with borough councillors to advise Newcastle residents to steer clear of illegal and unauthorised bonfires this year.

The public are being urged not to take unnecessary risks by attending bonfires which have not been permitted by the local authority.

Becci Bryant, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Area Commander for Newcastle, said: "Bonfires can easily get out of hand and unless they are properly organised and managed there is a risk to public safety.

"People who want to attend events should consider organised, controlled displays like the Mayor’s Fireworks in Lyme Valley Parkway on October 25th."

Meanwhile, Chief Inspector John Maddox, at Newcastle Police Station, said people who hold unauthorised bonfires on restricted land are liable to prosecution.

"Why take the risk when there are so many properly organised displays to enjoy?"   

Spokesman from Aspire Housing

"These bonfires pose a real danger to the public as they can collapse while people are watching them and the use of fireworks around them is often uncontrolled," he said.

"Not only that, but holding these events on restricted land without prior permission   is illegal." 

Councillor David Becket, Cabinet member for Environment and Recycling at Newcastle Borough Council added: "We would urge people who want to attend a bonfire this year to only consider organised events which are safe and supervised.

"There is a tendency for people to fly-tip on unauthorised bonfires, stacking them with their unwanted household items which makes things even more dangerous."

Supporting calls to clamp down on illegal bonfires is local housing association, Aspire Housing.

A spokesman for the organisation said: "Bonfire night should be both fun and safe, but things can quickly go wrong in an uncontrolled setting. 

"That’s why we wholeheartedly back the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, and would urge all our customers to stay away from unauthorised bonfire events. Why take the risk when there are so many properly organised displays to enjoy?"   

Anyone who knows of a bonfire being illegally built should telephone
01782 742500 immediately.