Backyard burning and the Bush Fire Danger Period

12 October, 2020Posted in: Environment
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Farmer and pile burn in rural setting

Wingecarribee Shire Council in conjunction with the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) are reminding residents that a permit to light a fire is mandatory following the start of the Bush Fire Danger Period.

Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Duncan Gair said permits came into effect as of 1 October 2020.

“With last summer’s horror bush fire season still fresh in our minds, it’s essential that anyone even considering undertaking a burn ensure they obtain the proper approvals,” he said.

“First and foremost, residents wishing to undertake a burn must first check they are allowed to do so.

“The easiest way to do this is to look at Council’s online Backyard Burning Map App to see when, where and how backyard burning can be undertaken.”

To access the online interactive Backyard Burning Map App and view the full list of conditions, fact sheets and learn how to apply for a Fire Permit, visit

As per Council’s Urban Backyard Burning of Vegetation Policy, only properties larger than 4,000 square metres can undertake backyard burning of dry vegetation as long as certain conditions are met.  These conditions include seeking the relevant permits, ensuring the burn meets the RFS Standards for Pile Burning and giving at least 24 hours-notice to neighbours and the relevant fire authority.  A responsible person should also always remain with the fire until it is extinguished and have resources at hand to put the fire out if required.

Under the Rural Fires Act 1997, permits are required at different times of year depending on whether the fire is in an RFS zone or FRNSW zone.  Across the Wingecarribee Shire, Fire Permits are allocated by either the RFS or Fire and Rescue NSW depending on the location of the property.

Both Council and the RFS can issue penalties if people breach these stringent conditions.

“It’s important to remember that on Total Fire Ban and No Burn Days lighting a fire is prohibited and all permits are automatically suspended,” the Mayor added.

Council’s Manager Environment and Sustainability, Barry Arthur, encouraged residents to consider alternative methods for green waste disposal.

“We encourage residents to instead consider using an additional garden organics bin, mulching and composting or taking your green waste to the Resource Recovery Centre.”

Further information including forms to order additional garden organics bins can be accessed through Council’s website at

To learn more about the Bush Fire Danger Period visit or contact your local Fire Control Centre.