The gazetted bush fire season in the Southern Highlands runs from 1 October until 31 March each year. However, should hazardous conditions prevail outside these times, fire bans can be extended.

During this time fires cannot be conducted without a fire permit. From 1 April until 30 September each year (or as advised by Council) local residents are permitted to burn without a fire permit, however, there are specific guidelines on what you can and can’t burn.

The following "Do's & Don’ts" should be observed. If you are unsure, contact your local brigade or Wingecarribee Council:

What’s permitted:

  • Burning is permitted on properties larger than 4,000 square metres (1 acre)
  • Burning of dead & dry vegetation associated with normal property maintenance permitted only
  • Pile burning must not exceed 2 metres wide or long and 1.5 metres in height
  • Pile burning – the smaller the better to minimise smoke and air pollution
  • Burning of logs up to 150mm in diameter permitted
  • Sufficient water supply to extinguish the fire must be available
  • Fires must be supervised at all times
  • You are required to notify your neighbours 24 hours before any burning
  • Smoke impact must be minimised
  • Avoid burning close to neighbouring residents
  • Give power lines a wide berth
  • Choose a space in the open well clear from bush land or other potential fire hazards

What’s not:

  • Must NOT burn wet vegetation
  • Must NOT burn green vegetation
  • Must NOT burn rubbish, other than dead and dry vegetation
  • Must NOT burn treated or painted timber
  • Must NOT burn hazardous materials
  • Must NOT have a smoky fire
  • Must NOT burn stumps
  • Must NOT burn logs more than 150mm in diameter
  • Must NOT have more than one pile burn at any one time
  • Must NOT use accelerants (such as petrol)
  • Must NOT burn under power lines
  • Must NOT burn vegetation associated with land clearing

Also, if you live near a vineyard, check that the grapes have been harvested as smoke can taint the grapes.