North Yorkshire is surrounded by countryside which attracts a large number of visitors every year.

If you’re planning a trip to the countryside, we would ask you to follow our advice below


  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows- they could start a fire and ruin the surrounding countryside.
  • Never leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take then home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
  • Never attempt to tackle fires that can't be put out with a bucket of water- leave the area as soon as possible and call the fire service.
  • Never have BBQs on grass or moorland


  • Always report a fire immediately when you see it, ring 999 and ask for the fire service
  • Always make sure cigarettes and other smoking materials are extinguished properly

Moorland Burning

Moorland burning must take place during the burning season (1st October to 15th April or 1st November to 31st March in some areas). Moorland burning is used as conservation management and to help prevent the spread of wildfires by creating ‘fire breaks’.

There are rules in place around heather and grass burning (as set out in the Heather and Grass Burning Code 2007) and people who don’t follow the rules can be prosecuted.

Read the Heather and Grass Burning Code for more information

Controlled burning

Every year we attend fires in gardens that have accidentally got out of control and spread, setting fire to trees, fences and even buildings.

If you do have a garden bonfire, please follow our safety advice.


  • Never light bonfires on a gusty day as they will burn more fiercely and can flare up unexpectedly.
  • Never use flammable liquids like petrol or paraffin to start fires.


  • Always site bonfires away from trees, shrubs, fences, garden structures and buildings.
  • Always make sure garden fires are contained, ideally in an incinerator or fire pit, and can’t spread.
  • Always have a garden hose handy in case of emergencies.
  • Always Make sure the fire is fully extinguished, with no hot embers, before you leave it.
  • Always add fuel (cuttings, branches, etc.) a bit at a time.
  • Always think of your neighbors, make sure smoke from bonfires doesn’t affect them.

What is the law?

There are no laws against having bonfires in your garden but there are laws for the nuisance they may cause. Most nuisance complaints will be dealt with by the environmental health department of your district or city council.