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Backyard burning


Burning dead and dry vegetation from routine property maintenance is permitted in certain areas.

Urban areas

Burning vegetation in urban areas is discouraged and it is recommended that vegetation should be disposed of in garden organics (green) bins or taken to one of Council's waste management facilities.

Rural and other areas

Council's  Control of Burning Policy582KB pdf(PDF, 582KB) provides a 'blanket' approval (approval type A) with conditions for burning dead and dry vegetation within certain rural zones. If your property is in the following zones you are covered under approval type A:

  • RU1 – Primary Production

  • RU2 – Rural Landscape

  • RU3 – Forestry

  • RU4 – Primary Production Small Lots

  • RU6 – Transition

  • R5 – Large Lot Residential.

If your property is on any other zone you will need to apply to council for an 'individual' approval (approval type B). The  form is available for download341KB pdf(PDF, 341KB) and there is a fee applicable to the application.


You need a permit before you can light a fire. Under state legislation Council or the EPA must give approval to 'cause pollution'. The NSW Rural Fire Service or NSW Fire + Rescue should be contacted before the lighting of any fire.

Residents are required by NSW law to take steps to minimise air pollution. Steps must be taken to reduce smoke and the impact on neighbours by:

  • Not burning wet or green vegetation

  • Considering how long the fire will burn

  • Proximity to neighbours

  • Wind and weather conditions.

Stockpiles of vegetation must comply with the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Standards for  Pile Burning1MB pdf(PDF, 1MB) which is available on the RFS website. An adult must stay with the fire until it is fully extinguished and have sufficient firefighting resources on-hand to safely maintain the fire and enough water to extinguish the fire if necessary.

If you live within a NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) district, an additional permit is required during the bushfire danger period. You can find your nearest fire station or visit the NSW Rural Fire Service to get the latest information.

This page was last updated on: 10 June 2020