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Burning Off

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State government restrictions are in place due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This may affect how you follow CFA's fire safety advice. You can find up to date advice on your Bushfire Safety Plan and COVID-19 or on the Coronavirus Victoria website.

Burning Off Burning off grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation is generally permitted outside the Fire Danger Period.

Local laws on burn-offs can apply year-round. Check with your local council before lighting up.

Before burning off, ensure:

  • You're following regulations or laws by CFA and your local council.
  • You notify your neighbours if your activity will generate fire and smoke.
  • Check the weather forecast for the day of the activity and a few days afterwards.
  • Establish a gap in vegetation or fire break with no less than three metres cleared of all flammable material.
  • There are enough people to monitor, contain and extinguish the burn safely and effectively.
  • You notify the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA)

Register your burn-off

To notify ESTA of your planned burn

Please provide the following information about your burn-off when registering:

  • Location
  • Date and expected start and finish times
  • Estimated size
  • What you intend to burn

Unregistered burn-offs can cause brigades to be called out unnecessarily.

Important note: Some information that you provide may be displayed on the Country Fire Authority's (CFA) website. This may include the street name and area where the planned burn you are registering will take place. This information may be shared using the CFA, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) websites at the time of ignition, as well as the VicEmergency website and app and internal incident management systems.

Permits

(See Fire Permits section for full details and application forms)

Burning off during the Fire Danger Period – Schedule 13 Permits

Burning off grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation during the Fire Danger Period is permitted under the following conditions:

  • You have a written permit issued by a Fire Prevention Officer of a public authority, the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer or by the CFA District office
  • You comply with the conditions of that permit
  • A person is in attendance at all times while the fire is alight and has the capacity and means to extinguish the fire
  • The fire is completely extinguished before the person leaves.

Many councils ban burning off on certain days, within certain locations or at certain times within their municipalities. Check with the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer.

More information about Fire Permits.

Burning for other purposes – Schedule 14 permits

Schedule 14 permits are for purposes not covered by Schedule 13 during the Fire Danger Period. For example, burning deceased stock or operating machinery.

CFA regional offices usually issue Schedule 14 permits but check with your local council first - arrangements are different in each area.

Incinerators

Before burning rubbish at any time of the year, check that there are no council requirements or restrictions. Some local councils don't allow incinerators at all.

Recycling or disposal at a registered landfill are alternatives to using incinerators.

Using incinerators during the Fire Danger Period

You don't need a permit, provided:

  • You check with council about any local laws that might prescribe conditions or restrict or prohibit incinerator use (eg. bans on certain days, within certain areas, or at certain times)

And the following requirements are met:

  • The fire is effectively restricted within the incinerator
  • The wind is not more than 10 kph (this can be observed when twigs and leaves are in constant motion)
  • The ground and air space within 3 metres from the outer perimeter of the incinerator are clear of flammable material
  • A supply of water adequate to extinguish the fire is available at all times when the fire is burning
  • A person is in attendance at all times while the fire is alight and has the capacity and means to extinguish the fire
  • The fire is completely extinguished before the person leaves.

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