Burning in the open in NSW is regulated by the Protection of the Environment (Clean Air) Regulation 2010. The regulation allows Dungog Shire Council to approve open burning of dead and dry vegetation in certain circumstances. During the Bush Fire Danger (usually 1 October to 31 March) burning in the open will require a Fire Permit. It is your responsibility to control the fire and keep it on your own property. If it escapes - you might be held liable for any damage it causes. There are serious penalties for lighting fires in the open without the appropriate approval.
Pile Burns - notification required all year
Pile Burns are the burning of piles of leaves and sticks that have accumulated on your property. Dungog Shire Council has given approval to burn dead and dry vegetative material on parcels of land that are over 4000m2 in size and are not in the town and village areas. The approval has other conditions that must be followed.
Agricultural Burning - notification required all year
Agricultural burning is for Primary Producers and farmers who make a profit or loss from agricultural land use. As part of agriculture operations, agricultural burning is the appropriate burning of stubble, orchard prunings, pasture improvement, diseased crops, disposal of dead beasts, weeds or pest animal habitats.
Hazard Reduction - notification required all year
Hazard Reduction is protecting a property and assets from bush fires. A Hazard Reduction Certificate (HRC) must be obtained before any clearing or burning and this is required all year round. You can obtain a HRC free of charge from the NSW Rural Fire Service by calling 4015 000 during business hours. The NSW Rural Fire Service can even assist land owners carry out hazard reduction burns on their land. Hazard Reduction Certificates are not issued for existing piles of vegetation. The Certificate will list the conditions that you will need to follow.
Cooking and Camping fires
Cooking and camping fires include small cooking fires or campfires, Hangis, Wood fired BBQ's and pizza ovens and they are allowed in properly constructed BBQs or fireplaces with a minimum 2 metres clearance around in all directions. They are NOT bon-fires. No notification required and they are prohibited on days of Before burning, 24 hours notice MUST be given to the NSW Rural Fire Service Lower Hunter District Office (phone 1800 890 533) AND to all neighbouring properties including those separated a road, lane or waterway.
If you plan to burn during the Bush Fire Danger Period, you MUST obtain a Fire Permit to ensure that you can conduct the burn safely. Contact Lower Hunter Fire Control for your closest Permit Issuing Officer.
Other Approvals might be required.
Clearing of undisturbed bushland and then burning it is NOT permitted without an environmental assessment or Development Approval.
For further information regarding Open Burning, please contact Lower Hunter Office on 4015 0000 a or email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.rfs.nsw.gov.au OR Dungog Shire Council on 4995 7777 or email email@example.com