Before you light that fire – a guide for residents burning vegetation

20 Sep 2016 3:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

At this time of year many residents think about burning off excess vegetation which might become a fire hazard in summer. This kind of planning should be applauded, but there are some rules that need to be followed to ensure that burns are conducted safely and comply with government and fire regulations.

What kind of approval do you need?

The first step is to determine the reason for the burn. If the burn is to reduce bush fire hazards you can get a Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate free of charge from the Rural Fire Service. You should contact the Northern Beaches Fire Control Centre on 02 9450 3000. If your planned burn is for some other purpose you should contact Northern Beaches Council for advice about what approval you require. 

You can access the application form for an RFS Hazard Reduction Certificate and other useful information here

Do you need a Fire Permit?

If your burn is planned during the Bushfire Danger Period, which usually runs from 1 October to 31 March each year, or your burn poses a danger to a building, you will also need a Fire Permit. The aim of a Fire Permit is to ensure your burn is conducted safely. It may impose specific conditions on the way the burn is managed.

Fire Permits for burns on Scotland Island are issued by Officers of the Scotland Island RFS - Peter Lalor, Ian White, Craig Laslett and Stuart Laughton.

You can request a Fire Permit by contacting Scotland Island RFS on 02 9999 4404. Please provide a reasonable amount of time for an RFS Officer to complete an inspection prior to the date of your planned burn.

Who do you need to notify?

At least 24 hours before you commence your burn you must notify the RFS of your intention to burn. You can do this by calling the number on your Hazard Reduction Certificate or through the RFS web site. You must also notify your neighbours at least 24 hours before you start your burn.

What happens on Total Fire Ban days?

On the day you plan to start your burn check the weather conditions and forecast. If there is a Total Fire Ban you cannot start your burn – even if you have a Fire Permit. On Total Fire Ban days all Fire Permits are automatically suspended.

For further information please refer to the Rural Fire Service web site or contact Scotland Island RFS on 02 9999 4404.

Views expressed on this website do not necessarily represent those of the NSW Rural Fire Service. During an emergency, do not rely on information placed on this site, please reference the NSW RFS website at, or call 1800 NSW RFS for emergency information. This site is not monitored 24/7.

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