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.

Within the Bushfire periods between 1 October to 31 March, in the first instance, you must contact Wollondilly Shire Council to obtain approval under the Protections of Environment Operations Act. If approval is given, then you must contact the RFS Wollondilly District office (see below contact details) to obtain a permit. 

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 you can meet the "General Approval" 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

Between 1 April to 30 September, a General Approval to Burn may be issued by Council for the burning of dead and dry vegetation, subject to meeting various requirements.

Please see the sample "General Approval to Burn" below.

Contact Council on 4677 1100 to obtain your "General Approval to Burn" relevant to your property.

Should you not be able to meet the requirements of the "General Approval to Burn" you may lodge an Application to Pile Burn.

Any requests for conducting a pile burn must be made by completing and submitting an Application to Council.  Once submitted, Council will contact you to arrange an inspection of your pile and a determination will be made as to whether permission, subject to conditions, is granted.

Please contact Council on 4677 9628 for further information. See "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

Check List

Before you light that fire, make sure you have:

  • Gained environmental Approval (if required)
  • Been issued a Fire Permit (if required)
  • Obtained a "General Approval to Burn" or been issued a "Pile Burn Approval"
  • Notified all adjoining landowners/occupiers and the local town brigade (Picton and Warragamba)
  • 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

General Approval to Burn