Can I burn household rubbish or garden waste in my backyard or acreage?

Burning wood and rubbish in open fires and incinerators can cause smoke, which is a major cause of air pollution. 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.

When fires are allowed

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, and
  • authorised fire-fighting training.

Fire bans

No-burn notices or total fire bans override any permits obtained. If you are planning to light an outside fire, check with the NSW Rural Fire Service to make sure your fire is legal.

More information

Lighting a fire (PDF 181 KB)
Guide to your responsibilities when lighting a fire or undertaking activities that may result in fire

Before you light that fire (PDF 1.9MB)
Advice for landowners that are planning to burn vegetation on their property