Open air burning

Our Open Air Burning Policy

There are three burning off zones that exist with each having differing rules and restrictions for 'burning off'.
To find out what zone your property is in, key your address into our Community Compass or contact us on 1300 787 624

Zone 1 (applies to most urban and or township areas)

  • open air burning is not permitted on properties less than 1 hectare in size at any time.
  • open air burning is permitted for fuel reduction purposes on properties greater than 1 hectare in size, subject to application and approval via the burns register (see below for more information).
  • an annual exemption will be issued for properties within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) that are identified as ‘Farmland’ and subject to Cardinia Shire’s Agricultural Land Rate and not identified for residential redevelopment under updates to the UGB.

Zone 2 (applies to most properties on the fringe of townships)

  • open air burning is permitted for fuel reduction purposes on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during daylight hours only.
  • open air burning is only permitted outside of these defined times subject to application and approval via the burns register
  • from 1 October until the CFA-declared Fire Danger Period, all properties within Zone 2 can undertake open air burning during daylight hours from Monday to Saturday
  • a fire must be a minimum of 10 metres from a neighbouring dwelling
  • the maximum pile size to be burned is 1 metre high by 1 metre wide by 1 metre long (1m3 – cubic metre)
  • only 3m3 (3 cubic metres) of material can be burned at any one time (i.e. three individual pile fires)
  • a fire break with a circumference of 3 metres around the proposed area to be burned must be prepared

Zone 3 (applies to most agricultural properties, farm land and the like)

  • open air burning is permitted for fuel reduction and/or agricultural purposes on any day, except Sunday, during daylight hours only
  • open air burning is only permitted outside of these defined times subject to application and approval via the burns register
  • a fire must be a minimum of 20 metres from a neighbouring dwelling
  • maximum pile size to be burned is 2 metres high by 2 metres wide by 2 metres long (8 cubic metres)
  • only 16m3 (16 cubic metres) of material can be burned at any one time (i.e. three individual pile fires)
  • a fire break with a circumference of 3 metres around the proposed area to be burned must be prepared.

Burns register

All residents who are proposing to burn off outside of their allowable zone restrictions (see above section for more information), need to submit an application via the burns register and gain approval prior to any burn taking place.

Please note: properties that are in Zone 1 and are less than 1 hectare in size should not apply as permission will not be granted in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Open Air Burning Policy 2013 (Word, 315KB). Please contact Council if you have any questions.

To submit an application to the burns register, use the online customer service request form and follow the following instructions:

1. Enter your personal details (these will remain confidential).
2. Enter your personal address.
3. Enter you address of issue (this is where you propose to conduct the burn).
4. Choose the category ‘Burn register’.
5. In the text box provided, answer all required questions as outlined in the instructions above the text box. It is important that you answer all questions or you risk your burn off not being approved.
6. Attach a photo showing the location and arrangement of the pile. It is important that you include this photo or you risk your burn off not being approved.
7. Click submit.
8. Your request will then be sent to our Community Risk and Emergency Management Unit for assessment.
9. A written response outlining whether your fire has been deemed ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ will be provided via email within two business days.

Alternatively, you can forward a completed application form to Cardinia Shire Council PO Box 7 Pakenham Vic 3810 / fax number 5941 3784 or email to mail@cardinia.vic.gov.au, apply in person at our offices or a hard copy form can be obtained by contacting us on 1300 787 624.

Tips for burning off safely

  • Never burn off on windy days (when the wind speed is more than 20 km/hr).
  • Never burn off when the shade temperature is predicted to exceed 32 degrees Celsius.
  • A fire must be supervised at all times by an adult who has the capacity and means to extinguish it.
  • Adequate water supply must be available.
  • Totally extinguish a fire at its completion on the same day.
  • Never use flammable liquids, such as petrol, to start a fire.
  • Burning of household and hard waste materials is strictly prohibited.
  • Postpone a burn if there are smog alerts, foggy conditions or wind that will carry smoke in a direction that will disrupt adjacent roadways or neighbouring properties.

Alternatives to burning off

While open air burning can cause concern to some residents, it needs to be balanced with the threat of a bushfire. There are other methods available to assist in reducing the fuel loads around your home, these include:

During the Fire Danger Period

The Fire Danger Period ceased within Cardina Shire on 11 April 2016.

The Fire Danger Period is when CFA restricts the use of fire in the community.
You will need a permit from CFA or Council to light a fire in the open air during the Fire Danger Period (some exceptions apply).

For more information on restrictions for open air burning during the Fire Danger Period please visit the CFA website.

Council's Open Air Burning Policy only applies outside of the Fire Danger Period.

Public land management

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and other fire agencies may conduct planned burns throughout the year, including during the declared Fire Danger Period. These burns are referred to as planned burns and are conducted under strict conditions.

Council’s policy does not have any jurisdiction over these prescribed burns.

For more information on planned burns visit the DELWP website.

Reporting an illegal burn off

To report a person illegally burning off, contact us on 1300 787 624 or via email and provide the following information:

  • address and details of burn off
  • details of anyone currently in attendance of the fire
  • your contact details (these will remain confidential)
  • details if the fire endangering life or property.

If the fire is endangering life or property, call 000 immediately and request the fire brigade to attend.

Further information

For more information on Council’s Open Air Burning policy, contact us on 1300 787 624 or email.

More information on burning off and preparing you property for fire, please visit the CFA website.

Useful links

  • Open air burning brochure (PDF, 3MB) – a guide for the local community on burning zones, safety, open air burning policy and the newly introduced burns register.
  • Frequently asked questions – information regarding the new open air burning policy introduced in 2013 and the main changes between the old and new policy.
  • CFA website – information to burning off, advice and warnings.
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