Fire Management

Sustainability

Important Notice - General Approval to Burn and other Pile Burning Approvals

Wollondilly Shire residents are reminded that the Bush Fire Danger Period commences on 1 October 2017 and will remain in force until 31 March 2018 or unless otherwise directed by the Rural Fire Service. 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 this 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 application to the NSW Rural Fire Service, Picton Office to obtain an Approval to Burn prior to the commencement of the burn. During this period inspections of the proposed pile burn will be carried out by the RFS.

What to do:

Step 1: Contact Council and complete an 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: Make application and provide a copy of the General Notice to you your local Brigade Captain with your application. (If contact details are not known for the local RFS Captain, then call the RFS District Office during normal business hours 4677 7000 for further information)

Please note that as of 1 October 2017, Council staff will only be issuing a General Notice under the POEO (Clean Air) Regulation 2010. Information on conducting a pile burn can be found in the document “Standards for Pile Burning” available on the NSW RFS website.

Residents should also be aware that unapproved burning could lead to heavy fines for the property owner. For further information contact Council on 4677 9628.

A Fire Permit is a Fire Safety Approval and is required at all times. The Bush Fire Danger Period generally runs from 1 OctoberHowever it may vary due to local conditions.

When do I need a Fire Permit?

You will need a Permit to light most fires that are out in the open. Refer to the RFS document “Before you light that Fire” for more information on permits.

Do I need any other Approvals?

Council prohibits all burning in certain areas unless prior written approval is received, or an exemption is granted if you meet Council’s requirements. Please call Council on 4677 1100 if you would like more information on exemption requirements.

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.

Check List

Before you light that fire, make sure you have:

  1. Gained environmental Approval
  2. Been issued a Fire Permit
  3. Comply with the conditions of approval
  4. Notified all adjoining landowners/occupiers and your local fire authority
  5. 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

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Solid fuel home heaters are also known as ‘slow combustion heaters/ cookers’, ‘pot belly stoves’, ‘wood fire heaters’ or ‘tile fires’.

Approval is required from Council for the installation of a wood or oil fueled heater, under Section 68 of the Local Government Act, 1993. Wood heaters must be installed in accordance with the Australian Building Code and Australian Standard AS/NZS 2918 to ensure the safety of the house, its occupants and the environment.

If you already have a wood fire heater, please take care to ensure you are not generating an excessive amount of smoke that could be negatively affecting your neighbours. The use of these heaters can create health problems particularly for people suffering from asthma, young children and older people. When operating your wood heater, please minimise the likelihood of excessive smoke generation by:

  • Burning only dry, well-seasoned, chemically untreated wood.
  • Using smaller logs instead of only one large log.
  • Not packing the fire too full, as it starves the fire of oxygen and causes it to smoulder.
  • Storing your wood under cover in a dry, ventilated area. Freshly cut wood needs to be stored for at least eight to twelve months.
  • Never burning painted or treated wood or rubbish.
  • Using plenty of dry kindling to get the fire burning quickly and brightly the faster you can get the fire going the less smoke there will be.
  • Checking the outside of your chimney - if there is visible smoke, increase the airflow to the fire.
  • Regularly removing ash and unburnt coals from the hearth of the fire.
  • Ensuring your chimneys and flues are cleaned out once a year.

Prevention Notices and fines can be issued under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, 1997 if the heater is being used in an environmentally unsatisfactory manner.