Backyard Burning Do’s and Don’ts

1 April, 2021Posted in: Environment

Farmer and pile burn in rural setting

Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding residents of the need for continued fire safety vigilance despite the close of the Bushfire Danger Period.

Council’s Manager Environment and Sustainability Mr Barry Arthur explained that as of 1 April 2021 backyard burning is allowed for some residents, providing certain conditions are met.

“Backyard burning is the burning of dead and dry vegetation,” he said. “Before undertaking a burn, residents should check with Council to see if burning is allowed on their property and the conditions that apply.”

Vegetation burning must be undertaken in a safe manner and follow approval conditions set out in Council’s Urban Backyard Burning of Vegetation Policy.

Residents on properties that are greater than 4,000 square metres and not zoned medium density (R3) are eligible to burn. Other conditions include:

  • seeking relevant permits from either the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) or Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) depending on the location of the property,
  • ensuring the burn meets the NSW Rural Fire Service’s Standards for Pile Burning,
  • giving at least 24 hours-notice to neighbours,
  • minimising smoke hazard, and
  • only burning dead and dry vegetation.

“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,” said Mr Arthur.

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

Smoke and particles from open-air fires can cause a nuisance to neighbours and interfere with their normal daily activities. If severe, it can also affect their health. It is important to only burn dead and dry vegetation and to consider alternatives to burning such as using the green-lidded kerbside bin, composting or mulching or taking excess green waste to Council’s Moss Vale Resource Recovery Centre.

To check if backyard burning is allowed and the conditions that apply visit or phone Wingecarribee Shire Council on 4868 0888.

All burning and any existing permits are automatically revoked on days of Total Fire Ban and No Burn Days.