Fire can be a useful tool for reducing bush fire hazards, removing vegetation, or conducting agricultural activities, however, inappropriate use of fire can endanger lives, property and the environment.

Various approvals may be required before you can light that fire. An approval will list conditions that seek to minimise adverse impacts and there are significant penalties for failing to obtain these approvals or comply with their conditions.

Note: If you plan to mechanically clear native vegetation and burn it in a pile, then you may also need to obtain an environmental approval for the clearing.

Notification

All fires other than those for cooking or heating require you to notify occupiers (or owners if vacant) of all adjoining properties, including those which are separated by road or waterway, and the RFS Wollondilly District Office.

ONLY within the Bushfire periods between 1 October to 31 March must you give 24 hour’s notice of the intended location of the burn, purpose and time of the burn.  The RFS Wollondilly District Office may be notified either by:

Telephone: 

4677 7000

Fax: 

4677 2999

Email: 

Southern.highlands@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Fire Permits

A Fire Permit is a Fire Safety Approval and is required during the Bush Fire Danger period which generally runs from 1 October to 31 March each year, however, it may vary due to local conditions.  Contact your local brigade for further information.

When do I need a Fire Permit?

You will need a Permit to light most fires out in the open during the Bushfire Danger Period between 1 October and 31 March.  Refer to the RFS document “Before you light that Fire” for more information on permits.

Do I need any other Approvals?

Wollondilly Shire Council prohibits all burning in certain areas unless prior written approval is received or an exemption is granted if you meet Council’s requirements.

A copy of the exemption requirements can be viewed or downloaded below and further information or an application can be sought by contacting Council on 4677 1100.

Burning items such as tyres, coated wire, paint/solvent containers and treated timber is prohibited all year round.  These measures seek to reduce the impact of smoke on the community and reduce air pollution.

Conducting A Pile Burn

Information on conducting a pile burn can be found in the document “Standards for Pile Burning” available on the NSW RFS website

Previous approvals issued by Council are suspended during the Bush Fire Danger Period.

A Fire Permit issued by the Rural Fire Service will be required for any backyard and pile burning during the Bush Fire Danger Period until further notice.

Before ANY burning can take place during this period the property owner needs to contact Council for advice.  If appropriate, a General Notice issued in accordance with the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010 will be issued as a first step.  The issue of this notice does not allow you to burn.  You must then make an application to your Local Rural Fire Service Brigade Captain to obtain a Fire Permit prior to the commencement of the burn.  During this period inspections of the proposed pile burn will be carried out by the RFS.

STEP 1:  Contact Council and make application for Pile Burn.

STEP 2:  Application determined

STEP 3:  If approved a General Notice will be issued. (This does not allow you to burn)

STEP 4:  Contact your local RFS Brigade Captain to obtain a Fire Permit. (Note: If contact details are not known for the local RFS Captain, then call the RFS District Office, during normal business hours on 4677 7000 for further information).

All requests to conduct a Pile Burn must be made on the Application to Pile Burn form.  Any processed requests will then need to be referred to RFS for approval.

A standard pile size is 2 x 2 x 1.5 metres.  Piles larger than the standard requires landholders to contact Council for approval or seek advice from the RFS.

Check List

Before you light that fire, make sure you have:

  • Gained environmental Approval (if required)
  • Been issued a Fire Permit (if required)
  • Notified all adjoining landowners/occupiers and your local fire authority
  • Notified your local Council (if required)
  • Checked for Total Fire Ban or No Burn Days

Contact

Fire Control Centre – Rural Fire Service on 4677 7000 or southern.highlands@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Downloads

Application to Pile Burn