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