Open Burning

Burning in the open in NSW is regulated by the Protection for the Environment (Clean Air) Regulation 2010. Wood smoke from open burning can cause a nuisance for nearby properties. Please consider the weather conditions, weather warnings and possible impacted before lighting any fire.

To protect the environment and your health, there are only certain situations when fires can be lit outside in NSW.

Smoke pollution can aggravate existing heart and lung problems like angina, emphysema and asthma. It can also cause

  • itchy or burning eyes and throat irritations
  • breathing difficulties and respiratory illnesses like bronchitis
  • headaches, tiredness or chest pain
  • decreased lung function in children.

IS YOUR FIRE LEGAL?

Part 3 of the Clean Air Regulation sets out the details of permitted and prohibited fires.

No-burn notices issued by the EPA or Total Fire Bans issued by the Rural Fire Service override any of these conditions except in specific circumstances.

WHEN CAN FIRES BE LIT OUTSIDE?
In areas where backyard burning is prohibited, there are only certain situations where fires can be lit outside in NSW. These include

  • barbecues or camping
  • eligible hazard reduction work
  • some agricultural purposes
  • authorised fire-fighting training

No-burn notices issued by the EPA or Total Fire Bans issued by the Rural Fire Service override any of these conditions except in specific circumstances.

If you are planning to light an outside fire, you should check with the EPA, your local council or the NSW Rural Fire Service to make sure your fire is legal and obtain a permit to burn if needed.

PERMITS TO BURN
If you are given a permit to burn, you must

  • prevent or minimise air pollution
  • not burn specified articles including tyres, coated wire, paint and solvent containers and certain treated timbers 
  • check with the EPA and your council whether any fire restrictions are in force for the period you plan to burn

No-burn notices issued by the EPA or Total Fire Bans issued by the Rural Fire Service override any permits obtained except in specific circumstances.