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Burning in the Open

Protecting Air Quality

The Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016 (the Policy) came into effect on 23 July 2016.

The Policy was created by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) following a consultation period in late 2015 and early 2016 to consolidate a number of existing policies and guidelines with the intent of better protecting and improving the health of South Australians and our environment though improved air quality. The Policy regulates air emissions including those from wood heaters and burning in the open.

The new provisions aim to minimise smoke impacts in populated areas by providing different requirements for the management of burning in the open inside and outside metropolitan Adelaide and townships.

Click here to download the Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016

Wood Heaters

  • The Policy includes rules regulating the sale and installation of wood heaters to target health impacts associated with smoke from wood heaters.
  • The Policy requires compliance with various Australian Standards for the sale and installation of all wood heaters, ensuring that wood heaters are engineered to operate efficiently, decreasing emissions to the atmosphere.
  • The Policy requires firewood retailers do not sell domestic firewood with a moisture content of greater than 25% (dry weight) to protect the community against excessive smoke from burning of inappropriate fuel.
  • There is also a requirement that the owner of a solid fuel heater does not allow excessive smoke to be generated from the heater.

Burning in the Open and Backyard Burning

A number of changes are now in place in relation to burning in the open following the introduction of the Policy including bushfire hazard reduction, disposal of agricultural and forestry waste and backyard burning in townships. These changes and others, are highlighted in the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Notable Changes

  • Burning in townships that previously occurred Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm, is no longer allowed.
  • Inside the townships, only charcoal can be used in a brazier, chiminea or fire pit for heating an outdoor area. No other fuels are permitted.
  • Fires using wood within townships, including camp fires, are not permitted.
  • Under the Policy, property owners within townships require approval from the Council to undertake burning for bushfire hazard reduction and disposal of agricultural and forestry waste.  Property owners outside the townships will not require approval however they will need to comply with CFS Codes of Practice to ensure that burning is conducted  safely.

Next Steps – Burning in the Open

The Policy provides us with a large amount of flexibility to introduce our own burning controls for bushfire hazard reduction and disposal of agricultural and forestry waste in the district.

We recognise the need for land managers to undertake burning in the open for bushfire hazard reduction and for primary producers to dispose of agricultural and forestry waste. Accordingly, we are using the flexibility provided by the Policy to the benefit of the community to put in place burning controls that result in no material change for those areas outside of townships.

Council can also consider and apply other burning controls believed necessary.


Frequently Asked Questions

Within the Townships (non-fire danger season)

​FAQ

​Y/N

​Conditions/Requirements

​Can I use a fire for the preparation of food and beverages?

​Yes

​No permit or permission required. The fire must be restricted to a size adequate for the preparation of food or beverage.

​Can I use a brazier, chiminea or a fire pit for outdoor domestic heating?

​Yes

​No permit or permission required. Fuel is restricted to charcoal only.

​Can I still have a campfire in the course of camping, scouting or a similar outdoor recreational activity?

​No

No longer permitted as of 23 July 2016. Council may grant permits in extenuating circumstances.

​Can I still burn agricultural or forestry waste?

​Yes

​Requires Council approval by individual permit.

​Will I still be able to burn off for bushfire hazard reduction?

Yes

​Requires Council approval by individual permit.

​Other burning in townships

​No

​No longer permitted unless exceptional circumstances. Requires approval through written consent from Council.

Outside the Townships (non-fire danger season)

​FAQ

​Y/N

​Conditions/Requirements

​Can I use a fire for the preparation of food and beverages?

​Yes

​No permit or permission required. The fire must be restricted to a size adequate for the preparation of food or beverage.

Can I use a brazier, chiminea or a fire pit for outdoor domestic heating?

​Yes

​No permit or permission required. Fuel is restricted to charcoal, dry timber or other plant material only.

​​Can I still have a campfire in the course of camping, scouting or a similar outdoor recreational activity?

​Yes

​No permit or permission required.

​Can I still burn agricultural or forestry waste?

​Yes

​No permit or permission required however burning must be in accordance with CFS Code of Practice for Broad Acre Burning 2015.

​Will I still be able to burn off for bushfire hazard reduction?

​Yes

​No permit or permission required however burning must be in accordance with CFS Code of Practice for Vegetation pile Burning 2015.