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Backyard Burning

Backyard Burning


The Bush Fire Danger Period has been brought forward due to dry conditions and commenced on 1 September 2019. Burning is prohibited without a permit.


NSW Rural Fire service



Urban Backyard Burning Of Vegetation Policy


Backyard burning contributes to air pollution and can cause respiratory problems. Smoke may also impact neighbours, particularly in urban areas. There are other preferred methods for disposing of green waste including: 


  • disposal in the organics waste bin collected fortnightly
  • using dried logs for heating
  • mulching or composting
  • taking the green waste to the Resource Recovery Centre for mulching.


There are conditions under which owners or occupiers of certain properties may burn dead and dry vegetation from property maintenance at particular times of the year. For more information see "When and Where is Burning Allowed" for all the conditions.


For other activities, such as hazard reduction burning and clearing for development , different approvals are required. More information on these activities and BBQs, cooking and other recreational fires see "Different Approvals for Other Types of Burning". 


Step 1 - Total Fire Ban or No Burn Days


All fires are prohibited when there is a Total Fire Ban or when a No Burn Notice has been issued.


Step 2 - When and where is burning allowed


Bush Fire Danger Period

Backyard burning is not permitted during Bush Fire Danger Period without a fire permit. The Bush Fire Danger Period ended on 1 April 2019 and will recommence on 1 September 2019.


Outside of the Bush Fire Danger Period a permit from Fire and Rescue is still required for properties in Fire and Rescue zones.


Properties eligible

Individual properties that are 4000 square metres and above are eligible to burn, provided the property is not zoned medium density (R3) and all the burning conditions in the Urban Backyard Burning Policy are met. The full conditions are listed under "Conditions of Approval" below. Burning must be in line with the Rural Fire Services Standards for Pile Burning.


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.


Click here to access the map and instructions.



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.


You may need to provide the fire authority with a snapshot of the Backyard Burning Map showing that your property is eligible to burn.


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


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



Step 4 - Make sure you meet ALL the conditions of approval


For properties allowed to burn, Wingecarribee Shire Council has a Policy and Notice of Approval which states the conditions owners or occupiers must meet for burning to be approved. Burning must meet all the conditions. The conditions are listed below:


  • Only dead and dry vegetation can be burnt, no other items.

  • 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:

  • For fires in the Fire and Rescue zone a permit is required all year round. 

  • For fires in the RFS zone a permit is required during the Bushfire Danger Period or where a fire is likely to be dangerous to a building. 
  • See the Permits section for more details.
  • 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. 

  • When you burn, the Rural Fire Services Standards for Pile Burning need to be followed.

  • Make sure you provide 24 hours notice and only burn dead and dry vegetation.

  • Make sure you stay with the fire while it is lit and have resources on had to put it out.


Things you can do to burn safely 


The video NSW Rural Fire Service Handy hints for safe pile burning

has useful information about how to burn safely.



Different Approvals for Other Types of Burning


Different approvals are needed for:


  • bushfire hazard reduction activities
  • burning from land clearance or development
  • burning of vegetation cleared under the NSW Rural Fire Services 10/50 Clearing Code of Practice 
  • ecological burning.

More information for these situations can be found in the Backyard Burning Fact Sheet below.


Where no domestic waste collection service is available, burning of domestic waste is allowed under Part 3 of Schedule 8 of the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010.


BBQs and Cooking


Under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010, Council approval is not required for cooking, BBQs or having a fire for recreational purposes such as camping, picnicking, scouting or other similar outdoor activities, provided only dry seasoned wood, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas or proprietary barbecue fuel (including a small quantity of fire starter) is used. 


There are some situations where you may need a permit to light a fire from a fire authority for recreational fires. For fires for cooking or heating, a permit is not required in RFS and Fire and Rescue zones, provided the fire is in a permanently constructed fireplace and meets the details on the RFS website


For other types of recreational burning, if you have any questions about whether you need a permit please contact your fire authority. 


Use the Backyard Burning Map to find out which fire authority is relevant for your property.


Agricultural Burning


Under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010, Council approval is not required for burning as part of agricultural activities, including burning stubble, orchard pruning, diseased crops, weeds or pest animal habitats on farms, pasture for regenerative purposes or for agricultural clearing (other than construction).


However, a permit is required all year round for agricultural burning in a Fire and Rescue zone and during the Bush Fire Danger Period in the Rural Fire Service zone. Use the Backyard Burning Map to see which zone your property is in.



Legislation

In New South Wales, burning in the open is controlled by the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010 (the Regulation). Part 2 of Schedule 8 of the Regulation allows Wingecarribee Shire Council to grant approval for burning in the open in certain circumstances.


Council's Urban Backyard Burning Policy provides the approval conditions and requirements for burning in the open in Wingecarribee local government area.



General Notices of Approval for Backyard Burning



PDF icon General Terms of Approval to Burn in the Open 2018 (PDF, 199Kb)


NOTE: This Notice of Approval is provided in accordance with the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010. Failure to comply may result in a penalty of up to $500 for an individual or up to $1,000 for a corporation.



Fact Sheets



PDFBackyard Burning Fact Sheet (PDF, 206Kb)

PDF iconExample of Notice to Neighbours (PDF, 152Kb)

External linkRFS Standards for Pile Burning 

Internal linkBackyard Burning Policy
LinkNSW Rural Fire Service Handy hints for safe pile burning


For further information, contact: 



Last Updated: September 12th, 2019
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