Open Burning (Backyard Burning Off)


Council will allow the equivalent of a 200 Litre drum size amount of dry green waste to be burnt without a permit outside restriction periods.

Anything over this will require a permit from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS).


Is your fire legal?

Backyard burning and unauthorised incineration are prohibited at all times in all council areas in the Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle regions, and in other NSW council areas listed in Schedule 8 of the Clean Air Regulation.

Contact Greater Hume Council on 02 6036 0100 to find out what and when you can burn in your area and if a permit is required.

Part 3 of the Clean Air Regulation sets out the details of permitted and prohibited fires.

No-burn notices issued by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) or Total Fire Bans issued by the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) override any of these conditions except in specific circumstances.


When can fires be lit outside?

In areas where backyard burning is prohibited, there are only certain situations where fires can be lit outside in NSW. These include:

  • barbecues or camping,
  • eligible hazard reduction work,
  • some agricultural purposes,
  • authorised fire-fighting training.


No-burn notices issued by the NSW EPA or Total Fire Bans issued by the NSW RFS override any of these conditions except in specific circumstances.


If you are planning to light an outside fire, you should check with the NSW EPANSW RFS or Greater Hume Council to make sure your fire is legal and obtain a permit to burn if needed.


Permits to burn

If you are given a permit to burn, you must:

  • prevent or minimise air pollution,
  • not burn specified articles including tyres, coated wire, paint and solvent containers and certain treated timbers (for more information, ask your council),
  • check with the NSW EPA, NSW RFS or Greater Hume Council whether any fire restrictions are in force for the period you plan to burn.