An application for a ‘Permit to Light Fire’ is made through your local fire warden. Contact details for fire wardens are available through the Fire Warden Finder. Following receipt of your application the fire warden may impose conditions on a permit to reduce unwanted risk or nuisance to other people, property or to the environment. The fire warden may refuse to issue a permit if they believe that appropriate safety measures cannot be reasonably achieved.
A Notification issued under the
Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990, does allow certain fires to be lit without the need to obtain a permit, except if the fires are not permitted under a local law or other legislation. If there is a local law in your local government area prohibiting the lighting of fires, a permit will not be issued by the fire warden unless you have obtained the written permission of the local government.
Fires that do not require a Permit
Provided adequate precautions are taken to prevent the spread of fire, the following fires may be lit without a permit except where such fires are not allowed under a local law for a part or all of a local government area:
- A fire in which neither the height, width nor length of the material to be consumed exceeds two metres;
- A fire lit outdoors for the purpose of cooking and warmth, if enclosed in a fireplace so constructed as to prevent the escape of fire or any burning material there from;
- A fire lit for the purpose of burning the carcass of a beast;
- A fire lit at a sawmill for the purpose of burning sawdust or other residue resulting from the operation of a sawmill; or
- A cane fire may also be subject to a notification and may be lit under certain conditions. Please read the Cane Burning Notification to find out about eligibility and burning conditions needed to comply with this notification.
If you are uncertain whether the above situations apply to you, and whether you need a permit or not, please contact your local Fire Warden for further clarification.
Note: Most local governments provide alternative methods (other than fire) for the disposal of vegetation and waste materials such as refuse collections or disposal of green waste at a council recycling centre. Contact your local government for more information.
How to apply for a Permit
Once you have the Application (which can be downloaded below), you need to do four things:
- Contact your local council to see if you can have a fire and if so, do you require written permission from the council.
- Contact the owners/occupiers of the land adjoining the property where you wish to light a fire and advise them of your intention to apply for a permit. 72 hours notification may be seen as a reasonable amount of time in populated areas, however this timeframe may not be appropriate in rural primary production areas. The timeframe is at the discretion of the Fire Warden. Record the time you contact them on the Application form and also note if they have or have not objected. If the neighbours do have an objection, they should contact the local Fire Warden. If you cannot contact the owners/ occupiers, note this in the application form.
- Complete both sides of the application form. This brochure includes Explanatory Notes for the Completion of an Application for Permit to Light Fire.
- Contact your local Fire Warden to submit your Application.