Backyard Burning Steps

During the Bush Fire Danger Period a permit to light a fire is required from the relevant fire authority.

Step 1 - Where Is Backyard Burning Allowed?

Individual properties that are 4000 square metres and above are eligible to burn, provided the property is not zoned medium density (R3). All the conditions of the Urban Backyard Burning Policy need to be met when planning and lighting a fire. The conditions are listed below. 

Online Interactive Map

An online interactive map is available. The map allows you to search for your property and see if backyard burning is allowed and the conditions that apply when planning for and undertaking backyard burning.

Backyard Burning Policy Map 

Step 2 - When Is Burning Allowed?

All fires are prohibited when there is a Total Fire Ban or when a No Burn Notice has been issued. See also the information below about the Bush Fire Danger Period and permits. 

Step 3 - Apply For A Permit

Under the Rural Fires Act 1997, permits are required at different times of year depending on whether the fire is in the RFS zone or the Fire and Rescue zone.

  • Fires in the Fire and Rescue zone require a permit from Fire and Rescue all year round.
  • Fires in the RFS zone require a permit from RFS during the Bush Fire Danger Period or where a fire is likely to be dangerous to a building.

Use the map to find out which which fire authority is relevant to your property.

Backyard Burning Policy Map

Further information regarding permits can be found at NSW Rural Fire Service and Fire & Rescue NSW.

To apply for a Permit, contact the relevant fire authority:

NSW Rural Fire Service: 02 4868 5500

Fire and Rescue Southern Zone Office: 02 4822 9395

Fire and Rescue Mittagong Brigade


Telephone: 02 4871 1002

Fire and Rescue Bowral Brigade


Telephone: 02 4862 1446

Fire and Rescue Moss Vale Brigade


Telephone: 02 4868 1288

Fire and Rescue Bundanoon Brigade


Telephone: 02 4883 6333

Step 4 - Notify The Fire Authority and Neighbours

Notice is required to be given to both the relevant fire authority and to neighbours at least 24 hours before the fire is lit. 

For properties in RFS areas, the online form can be used or by contacting the zone office. For properties in Fire and Rescue areas, the local brigade can be contacted. 

The Neighbour notice(PDF, 151KB) form may be used to notify neighbours.

Step 5 - All The Conditions of Approval Need To Be Met When Undertaking Backyard Burning

The conditions are listed below:

  • Only dead and dry vegetation can be burnt, no other items.
  • The Rural Fire Services Standards for Pile Burning need to be followed. The standard includes information on pile size, vegetation size and location.
  • You must take into consideration alternative ways to dispose of the vegetation.
  • You must take into consideration the impact of smoke on neighbours and traffic. This includes considering the wind, weather and length of burn.
  • Burning is prohibited during Total Fire Bans or on No Burn Days.
  • A fire permit must be obtained from the RFS or NSW Fire and Rescue depending on where your property is. 
  • Provide 24 hours notice to fire authority and neighbours.
  • Stay with the fire from the time it is lit until it is extinguished.
  • Have resources on hand to put it out in case of an emergency.

Burning Safely

The video by the Mandemar RFS brigades Handy hints for safe pile burning has useful information about how to burn safely.