Bookmark and Share

Bush Fire Danger Period and Fire Permits

A Fire Permit is required for burning activities during the Bush Fire Danger Period. Fire Permits help ensure fire is used safely and minimise the danger to you, your property and the community.

The key things to remember

  • You need a fire permit if it's the Bush Fire Danger Period. 
  • Just because it's the Bush Fire Danger Period doesn't mean you can't use fire - but there are restrictions to ensure fire is used safely.
  • Getting a permit is free and easy. Contact your local Fire Control Centre.
  • There are heavy penalties if you don't follow restrictions or rules.

Please note that other restrictions, approvals and/or permits may apply to council areas where the Bush Fire Danger Period has not been declared. For example, backyard burning is not permitted in many suburban areas due to Environmental Regulations and Council or Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) permission is required.

Check these guides for more information on permits and reducing hazards on your property:

What is a Fire Permit?  

Fire Permits help ensure fire is used safely during the Bush Fire Danger Period. A permit imposes conditions on the way a fire is lit and maintained, and can only be issued by authorised Permit Issuing Officers. 

The permit system ensures agencies like the NSW RFS know when and where landholders intend to burn, to ensure adequate and appropriate measures are in place, and so that fires remain under control. 

To carry out a Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Burn, you may need: 

  • a Fire Permit and/or
  • an Environmental Approval such as a Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate. You must gain this before applying for a Fire Permit.

The Permit Issuing Officer may add any conditions deemed as necessary but all permits have standard conditions that, such as: 

  • the permit is to be carried by the permit holder, on site, at the time the fire is lit
  • the permit is to remain on site with those present until extinguished, if applicable
  • the fire must be supervised at all times unless the permit says otherwise
  • notifications are given to the NSW RFS, and adjoining neighbours at least 24 hours (unless specified otherwise) prior to the fire being lit and
  • the permit may be varied, cancelled or suspended, depending on weather conditions.

When are permits required?

The statutory Bush Fire Danger Period runs from 1 October to 31 March, however it may vary due to local conditions. If you are planning to light a fire in the open during this time, you will need a Fire Permit.

You can find out if permits are required in your area below.

Also depending on the type of fire, a permit may be required all year round. For example, a Fire Permit is required at all times if a fire is likely to be dangerous to a building.

When are permits not required?

Fire Permits are not required for fires that are lit for the purpose of land clearance or the creation of a fire break during the Non Bush Fire Danger Period.  

Additionally, Fire Permits are not required for fires for the purpose of heating or cooking, provided that: 

  • the fire is in a permanently constructed fireplace;
  • at a site surrounded by ground that is cleared of all combustible materials for a distance of at least two metres all around;
  • the fire is completely extinguished before leaving.

What else do I need to do?

Before lighting the fire ensure that:

  • it can be contained and controlled within the specified area
  • it does not contain toxic materials, such as rubber tyres, plastics, paint etc; and
  • it must not cause an air pollution problem by producing excessive amounts of smoke.

If you have a permit, it is your responsibility to:

  • check whether a Total Fire Ban in force on our Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Ban page. If there is, your permit is automatically suspended. 
  • check whether a No Burn day has been declared on the EPA website 
  • check the expected weather conditions
  • notify and check with your local NSW RFS Fire Control Centre or Fire and Rescue NSW station prior to lighting.
  • follow any conditions restrictions listed in your permit.

Applying for a permit

If in doubt about whether you require a Fire Permit, or to apply for one, contact your local NSW RFS Fire Control Centre or Fire and Rescue NSW station.     

Fines and penalties

Substantial fines and prison terms of up to 12 months may apply to persons found to be in breach of the Rural Fires Act 1997 and its Regulations. 

Civil law suits can also be bought against persons responsible for fire, by those seeking compensation, for losses sustained. 

More information

Read our guide Before You Light That Fire for more information about Fire Permits.

You can also check our Can I or Can't I fact sheets to find out what restrictions are in place in your area.

For more information about fines and penalties, or assistance regarding whether you need a Fire Permit or not, contact your local NSW RFS Fire Control Centre.

Council name Fire Permit required
Albury City No
Armidale Dumaresq No
Ashfield No
Auburn No
Ballina No
Balranald No
Bankstown No
Bathurst Regional No
Bega Valley No
Bellingen No
Berrigan No
Blacktown No
Bland No
Blayney No
Blue Mountains No
Bogan No
Bombala No
Boorowa No
Botany Bay No
Bourke No
Brewarrina No
Broken Hill No
Burwood No
Byron No
Cabonne No
Camden No
Campbelltown No
Canada Bay No
Canterbury No
Carrathool No
Central Darling No
Cessnock No
Clarence Valley No
Cobar No
Coffs Harbour No
Conargo No
Coolamon No
Cooma-Monaro No
Coonamble No
Cootamundra No
Corowa No
Cowra No
Deniliquin No
Dubbo No
Dungog No
Eurobodalla No
Fairfield No
Forbes No
Gilgandra No
Glen Innes Severn No
Gloucester No
Gosford No
Goulburn Mulwaree No
Great Lakes No
Greater Hume No
Greater Taree No
Griffith No
Gundagai No
Gunnedah No
Guyra No
Gwydir No
Harden No
Hawkesbury No
Hay No
Holroyd No
Hornsby No
Hunters Hill No
Hurstville No
Inverell No
Jerilderie No
Junee No
Kempsey No
Kiama No
Kogarah No
Ku-ring-gai No
Kyogle No
Lachlan No
Lake Macquarie No
Lane Cove No
Leeton No
Leichhardt No
Lismore No
Lithgow No
Liverpool No
Liverpool Plains No
Lockhart No
Maitland No
Manly No
Marrickville No
Mid-Western Regional No
Moree Plains No
Mosman No
Murray No
Murrumbidgee No
Muswellbrook No
Nambucca No
Narrabri No
Narrandera No
Narromine No
Newcastle No
North Sydney No
Oberon No
Orange No
Palerang No
Parkes No
Parramatta No
Penrith No
Pittwater No
Port Macquarie Hastings No
Port Stephens No
Queanbeyan No
Randwick No
Richmond Valley No
Rockdale No
Ryde No
Shellharbour No
Shoalhaven No
Singleton No
Snowy River No
Strathfield No
Sutherland No
Sydney No
Tamworth Regional No
Temora No
Tenterfield No
The Hills No
Tumbarumba No
Tumut No
Tweed No
Unincorporated NSW No
Upper Hunter No
Upper Lachlan No
Uralla No
Urana No
Wagga Wagga No
Wakool No
Walcha No
Walgett No
Warren No
Warringah No
Warrumbungle No
Waverley No
Weddin No
Wellington No
Wentworth No
Willoughby No
Wingecarribee No
Wollondilly No
Wollongong No
Woollahra No
Wyong No
Yass Valley No
Young No