I have just found out that bonfires are now illegal (from November 2011) in France. Has anyone had any problems?

I think you are right, no one knows about it at all. A really well publicised law

No it's not a joke! I found it on an official site after a friend had warned me about it. I really don't think many French people know (or care) about it.

I asked my neighbours, no one knows of this ban. I told my OH I had heard of a ban and he asked me if I was sure it was not a joke. Is it a joke?

I was going to say that the 'bonfire' topic had burned itself out................ Maybe the ban was a bit like the breath test kits which might just be abandoned.

Well, well so much for illegality. There seem to be so many bonfires alight today in this area that one might assume that the government must have issued lots of bits of paper to inform people of the ban, which were then used to light the many fires...

Thank you for the suggestions, however the bonfire usually consists of rubbish that has come down the river during high water, is collected at our sluices, and needs to be got rid of from an island with no vehicular access. Perhaps that is why I always get permission. - anyway I like bonfires so there!

I think that the 5' bonfire would be ideal just as raised beds are for gardening when you don't want to strain your back......?!

Or go to the mairie and ask who the local witch is... given some of the beliefs, I am sure they must still do it...:-)

@ Chris; you could always dig a pit and put a pig in first, ha ha....

As our bonfires usually start about 5 feet high, I could try the bar b q approach but it may be deemed to be stretching it a bit!

On the shopping list to bring back over: Toasting fork! We'll make sure we've always got it and le pain to hand to justify the term 'barbecue'.......

A little dechetterie bin given the quantities we have. The dechetterie is about 2km from us as the crow flies or GPS tells, unfortunately there is a large river which makes it roughly 12 km by the slow route or 20 km by the quick route. Highly encouraging. No, we'll burn it.

I didn't know about this, people still have bonfires round here. I'll see if any of my neighbours have heard of this. I can imagine having to get permission from the Mairie in the south because of the weather, as my mother has to get permission in Spain where bonfires are not allowed in the summer months because of the heat and dryness. I think that if they want to ban bonfires they should supply us with a garden dechets bin as in the suburbs. My sister-in-law has one of these bins but for me I have to go 10km to the nearest dechetterie.

The local farmers in our area have fires all the time and I can't see them changing. To be honest they will probably carrying on and ignore this law. Cannot see how they are going to implement this law given how many rural areas there are. I see lots of raised arms and shaking of heads

Sorry Catherine, I tried the daily mail caption generater for a few minutes and it didn't come up with anything about bonfires

Dick, some EU commissions better pop down here to see the row of fires ready to be lit. The last one the foresters burned was roughly 8m high by 12m long and oval rather than circular. It was, admittedly, in the middle of a field that had been trees until earler this year. Two weeks ago I suspect it burned the backsides of Ryanair flights circling for a landing path. It entirely lit up the sky and had flames until the fourth day, and I am no absolutely sure it is entirely cool yet. There are loads more hereabouts to be burned. How anybody can miss that, errr. Domestic fires aplenty and we are OK because our land is still used by a local farmer for grazing hay and is still classified agricultural land. EU, put that in your pipes and, oh no, forbidden!

@ Catharine "It's all a plot"

That's news to me, here in the Haute Pyrenees everyone still seems to ignoring the ban in ernest or perhaps like me had no idea there was one, in fact there are the remains of one still glowing in an old oil drum at the bottom of the garden, if anyone complains which I seriously doubt I will quickly whip out the burgers. I did hear of one resident in our friends commune who was clearing some brambles a few weeks ago who ended up melting the overhead electricity cables cutting everyone off for 24 hrs.