Backyard Burning

2020 Burning Permits Are Now Closed.

Outside the fire danger season if you are considering burning in the open, please contact Council on 8372 8888 who will provide you with the relevant guidelines to assist you in making the decision on whether you are able to undertake burning in the open, and whether you can obtain a permit from Council.

For information about regulations in relation to burning in the open please read the EPA guidelines to burning in the open.

Penalties may apply if you burn in contravention to the EPA Policy and guidelines.

The Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016 outlines the conditions and controls that are imposed on burning in the open. However, the City of Mitcham has been granted an exemption to allow residents to burn green waste material in the high fire risk areas of the Council for the purpose of fuel and hazard reduction (during specified hours and days subject to conditions).

However in all cases you must obtain a permit to undertake this hazard reduction burning.

Application for a Permit to Burn in the Open

From mid May residents who live in Council’s high fire risk areas can apply to obtain a permit to burn green waste material to reduce fuel and hazard reduction in preparation for the next fire season by completing the Permit to Burn in the Open Form

General guidelines for obtaining an exemption permit to burn from Council are:

  • You must live in Council’s High Fire Risk Area.
  • You must be conducting fuel and hazard reduction work.
  • Material must be hard to remove: eg down in a gully or inaccessible by car and trailer.
  • Material to be burnt must be dry and seasoned materials (no rubbish).
  • Material must be dry prior to burning.
  • You must have a permit to burn issued by Council’s Authorised officer.
  • You must adhere to all conditions of the permit.
  • Permits are only issued if there are no other options available to dispose of the green waste.
  • The person undertaking the burning is to have the permit available for inspection on site by the CFS or a Council officer.

These permits:

  • May require an inspection prior to being issued.
  • Are issued at the discretion of Council’s authorised officer.
  • Are not valid on days declared a total fire ban.
  • Are not valid during the fire danger season as declared by the Country Fire Service.
  • Are only issued where no other options are available for the disposal of the green waste, i.e. the materials must be hard to remove – down in a gully or inaccessible by vehicle.

CFS Code of Practice for Vegetation Pile Burning

Please visit the CFS website Codes of Practice page and scroll to locate the CFS Code of Practice - Vegetation Rubbish Pile Burning.

Alternatives to Burning

There are a number of options to dispose of green waste without the need to burn:

  • A properly made compost heap only takes up an area of about two square metres and is clean and free of smell.
  • You can utilise your green waste bin collection service to assist in removal of the green waste.
  • Council provides a free green waste drop off service annually prior to the commencement of the Fire Danger Season.
  • Chipping.
  • Mulching.

Burning in the Open without a Permit

Additionally, burning in the open without a permit is only allowed:

  • When used principally for the preparation of food, eg barbecues.
  • Within a dwelling e.g. fireplace, combustion heaters – refer to the Environment Protection Authority website for further information in relation to this –
  • For heating – using charcoal in a brazier or chiminea.

Fires for the preparation of food are permitted when used principally for the preparation of food or beverages or the heating of a potable liquid (eg sauce).

Wood cannot be burnt in a kettle (such as a Weber) for heating purposes.

Other Cooking or Comfort Fires

  • The fire is contained in a properly constructed fire place, a portable cooking appliance or a trench at least 30cm deep
  • The space immediately around and above the fire is cleared of all flammable material to a distance of 4m
  • The fire does not occupy an area in excess of 1m2
  • A person who is able to control the fire is present at the site of the fire from the time it is lighted to the time it is completely extinguished
  • An appropriate agent adequate to extinguish the fire is at hand

Heating for Personal Comfort

The following heaters may be used to heat an area used for outdoor entertainment provided that CHARCOAL is only used.

Chiminea Chiminea
Outdoor Fireplace Outdoor FireplaceOutdoor Fireplace

Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Fire Prevention Department on 8372 8888.