Monday, January 17th, 2022

Come on baby DON’T light my fire – with apologies to The Doors

Jim Morrison and The Doors may have demanded someone Light My Fire in the 1969 chart hit of the same name, but residents across the Sevenoaks District are being asked to think of others and not light bonfires during the current Coronavirus outbreak.

The effects of bonfires at this time are likely to be much more serious and have a bigger impact. The Coronavirus is known to cause serious respiratory problems, which could be made much worse if the sufferer is exposed to smoke from bonfires.

It is important to be especially considerate at this time, when people are confined to their home and unable to escape unpleasant smoke. Bonfires can also become out of control or cause accidents, creating extra pressure on the already busy emergency services.

The Kent Fire Service has already reported a rise in 999 calls linked to Covid 19 isolation. A statement from the service said: ” With warmer weather on the way, firefighters are urging the public to enjoy bonfires and barbecues responsibly. The advice comes after an increase in the number of bonfire-related 999 calls and incidents for Kent Fire and Rescue Service.”

The Council’s Cabinet Member for ‘Cleaner and Greener’, Cllr Margot McArthur, said: “During this difficult time we are all working hard to pull together to support one another so we are urging residents not to have bonfires for the safety of others.

“We understand that closures to local tips may create a storage issue for some residents but we are continuing to collect your rubbish and recycling weekly and your garden waste fortnightly. Where possible, please store the waste you intended to burn until the crisis is over.”

Sevenoaks District Council can investigate and, if necessary, take action against any persistent offenders whose bonfires are impacting upon neighbours. Residents experiencing problems with neighbours having bonfires during this time should call 01732 227000.

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