Fire crews in Wigan have been called to at least twelve fires involving household waste over the weekend, following the closure of recycling centres.
The increase in “backyard burning” is thought to be the result of the recent closure of the borough’s recycling centres – due to the coronavirus, according to Wigan Today.
Burning household waste in back gardens is illegal, which was highlighted by Glyn McGann, watch manager at Wigan fire station.
He told Wigan Today: “The residents have attempted to burn waste in their back gardens and nearby alleys.
“It just isn’t necessary as the council waste disposal team is running as normal and if people think that waste is building up, they can arrange for it to be removed.”
There is no need for this and we’re only at the start of this pandemic and people are panicking when they don’t need to
“There is no need for this and we’re only at the start of this pandemic and people are panicking when they don’t need to.
“Thankfully we managed to contain these fires but burning the rubbish could easily spread to other properties.”
He added: “People shouldn’t be congregating like this either, so it’s totally irresponsible.”
One incident saw an aerosol can thrown into a burning fire, and another where a household waste fire had spread to a conifer tree.
Mr Reid warned of the dangers to health and the environment, saying it could also be dangerous for people with asthma who may have the coronavirus, as it could “exacerbate their symptoms”.
He said: “Our message would be not to be tempted to burn household rubbish.
“Think of your neighbours and the environment and the drain this has on fire service resources.”