Fires, burn-offs and permits
A fire lit for cooking or warmth does not require a permit providing it is lit in a properly constructed fireplace, not larger than one metre square and must be located five metres on all sides from any fence, building or structure.
Cooking and warmth fires are allowed during the Fire Danger Period provided regulations are met, but not on a Total Fire Ban Day. For full details on open air fires including the use of gas and electric barbecues during the Fire Danger Period and on Total Fire Ban days refer to the CFA website: Can I or can’t I?
Incinerators and backyard fires
Burning off your household or garden waste (organic, wet and green vegetation) in the open or using a backyard incinerator is banned, year round. We will issue an on-the-spot fine of $200 to people who burn fires to dispose of waste, or who light a fire without first obtaining a permit.
This ban prevents fires and protects public health, especially people with breathing difficulties like asthma.
Burning off for fire prevention purposes and to reduce fuel
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic local law permits to burn are limited at this time to essential clean-up for fire prevention purposes on larger properties.
In more heavily populated residential areas we are encouraging residents to consider burning as a last resort to:
- Limit the need in the current situation for CFA volunteers having to attend call outs
- Limit the need for City staff to attend private property to inspect, and respond to complaints
- Limit smoke in the environment to ensure the best possible health for the community at this time, with coronavirus impacting airways and lungs
Alternatives to burning off include using your organics bin. When material is too large to fit in your organics bin, green waste can be disposed of free of charge at the Eaglehawk Landfill and Heathcote Transfer Station.
You can burn off to reduce the fuel on your property outside of the Fire Danger Period. If your property is less than a hectare, you require a permit to light a fire outside. If your property is larger than 1 hectare you will only need a permit if the pile of wood and timber that you wish to burn is 4 metres wide x 4 metres long x 3 metres high or larger.
To apply for a permit you can do one of the following:
- Apply online for an open air burn
- Download and complete the Application for Open Air Burning hard copy form
- Contact us on 03 5434 6000
See also our open air burning fact sheet.
Please allow a couple of days for your permit to be processed. Permits are free and are granted to burn dry solid fuels only. If your property is greater than one hectare in size, you do not require a permit.
However, for all open air fires you must:
- Advise CFA of your burn-off on 1800 668 511
- Notify your neighbours
- Ensure that the fire is supervised by an adult at all times
- Have a working hose or suitable water source at the site
- Do not light outdoor fires in winds stronger than 15kph, during a total fire ban or during the Fire Danger Period (permits from Council do not apply during the Fire Danger Period as open air burning is banned during that time).
- Locate your fire 5 metres away from any building or boundary and ensure there is a three metre cleared radius around it.This may be more depending on conditions on your permit.
- Offensive material cannot be burned (anything other than dry wood). If you see someone burning off during the fire danger period, phone 000 (triple zero). Burning off during the Fire Danger Period is an offence and may be prosecuted by the Police and/or the CFA