Smoke and Backyard Burning
Residents should first contact NSW Rural Fire Service for any permits or advice before burning.
Burning anything other than vegetation could release airborne pollutants into the environment and is an offence under the Protection of the Environmental Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2002. Under this legislation, the following items are prohibited and should not be burnt:
- Domestic, commercial or industrial waste
- Coated wire
- Paint or paint containers
- Solvent residues and containers
- Treated timber (CCA or PCP)
If you have a concern about a person burning prohibited items, contact Council who can investigate. On-spot-fines of $500 - $1,000 can apply to anyone burning prohibited items.
Smoke from wood heaters is not only wasting your money but can cause pollution and impact the health of your neighbours. There is a solid body of scientific evidence that has confirmed that wood smoke is bad for our health.
Smoke from wood heaters has a lot in common with tobacco smoke. Both are organic fuels and when they burn they give off very similar compounds. Particulate from smoke can lodge in the lungs and can trigger or worsen respiratory illnesses like asthma, pneumonia and middle ear infections. Particulate can also raise blood pressure and cause inflammation, increasing overall risk of cardiovascular disease in the long run.
To prevent your wood heater creating excessive smoke, follow these simple tips:
- Burn only dry, seasoned and untreated wood
- Get a hot fire going quickly with plenty of paper and small kindling
- Keep the fire burning brightly
- Let the fire breathe and put the regulator in the fully closed position
- Don’t overload your wood heater with too much wood
- Remove excess ash from the firebox
- Have your flue professionally checked and cleaned regularly
If you have a concern about your neighbour’s wood heater creating a smoke nuisance, contact Council. Where a wood heater is creating a nuisance, Council can issue Orders requiring the land owner or occupier to take action to address the problem. On-the-spot fines may also apply.