Backyard burning, fires and wood smoke


If you’re planning to light a fire there are some things to bear in mind. These are:

  • domestic and backyard burning is not allowed
  • fires up to one square metre in area are allowed for cooking and personal warmth.

Allowed fires

If you’re lighting a fire for cooking or personal warmth you must make sure the fire:

  • is clear of all flammable vegetation to a distance of at least 4 metres
  • is clear of any type of flammable material in the area around and above the fire.

Be aware

  • Burning wood treated with copper chrome arsenate (perma-pine) or other chemical preservatives is illegal.
  • All fires are subject to fire restrictions set by the Country Fire Service (CFS).

Fire danger season

Fire danger season is operational from 1 December to 12 May each year (these dates are subject to review by the Country Fire Service).

Total fire bans could be declared in your area at any time.

Before lighting a fire always check with the Country Fire Service (CFS) to find out about current fire restrictions.

Total fire ban days

On total fire ban days fires certain activities are not permitted.

Find out what you can or can't do on total fire ban days.

Severe penalties apply for breaking fire ban laws.

Reducing environmental impact and complaints

Please be considerate of your neighbours. They may be asthma sufferers, have washing on the line or their windows open for fresh air. Before lighting a fire:

  • let your neighbours know in advance
  • use only dry or cured wood, heat beads, dry cardboard and paper.

All fires produce a lot of smoke to begin but when the fire is burning properly there is usually a light blue or grey haze.

Find out more about reducing wood smoke pollution.

Smoke from domestic heating.

Reporting illegal burning

Contact the Service Centre during and after hours on 8416 6333.

We’ll need to know the exact address of the property where illegal burning is taking place.

If possible, find out what is burning because it may be legal e.g. cooking or personal comfort.