Getting fired up: know your fire rules


A reader recently wrote to the Brighton Community News to check out the rules and regulations surrounding conducting burn off s safely and fairly at home. We thought it was a good opportunity to share this useful information as we head into our more moderate seasons – it’s an ideal time for reducing fire risk at home before next summer. Keep in mind, all rules are subject to current fire restrictions so check out the Council and Tasmanian Fire Service website for further details.

Under the Brighton Council’s Environmental Health By-Law No. 1 of 2017 and in conjunction with Fire Service Act 1979 (Tas), backyard burns are classified as either barbeques, incinerators and/or open-air fires. An ‘incinerator’ includes any fireplace, fire pot, construction or container not housed inside a building, which is used for the purpose of burning any flammable material. This doesn’t include a barbecue being used in connection with the cooking of food for human consumption (so you can keep the snags coming!). An ‘open-air fire’ means any fire that is conducted outside a building, including a fire conducted in a garden, yard, alley, field, park, industrial site, construction site, building lot, parking lot, street, or other open place.

Where:
With these definitions in mind, incinerators and open-air fires cannot be ignited:

  • Within two metres of a property boundary, or
  • Within ten metres of structures external wall, including, but not limited to, a dwelling or outbuilding, or
  • In any location where vegetation overhangs or is above the
    incinerator or open fire.

    When:
    Incinerators or open-air fires cannot be ignited on land with an area of less than 2000 square metres on any day or time, other than Monday, Wednesday, or Saturday between 10am-4pm.

    What:
    Man-made materials such as tyres, plastics, and paints cannot be burnt.

    When do you need a permit:
    If you want to burn off vegetation but the Tasmanian Fire Service has declared a Fire Permit Period, you must apply and receive a fire permit before igniting, regardless of the weather. Contact your local Fire Permit Officer on 1800 000
    699 (permits are free).

    Barbecues, Campfires or Incinerators don’t need a permit but must:
  • Be at least three metres away from overhanging branches, stumps, logs and trees and other flammable material
  • Not be lit on peat soils or grassed sand dunes
  • Have someone stay with the fire until it is completely extinguished
  • Comply with local Council or Parks regulations or by-laws.

    There are penalties for not following Council regulations and it’s recommended all fires are registered with the Tasmanian Fire Service, regardless of size.
    For more information, head to www.brighton.tas.gov.au or www.fire.tas.gov.au