Fire permits, together with Total Fire Bans, are issued to reduce the number of fires that destroy property, the environment and peoples lives.
Depending on which fire district you live in, fire permits are issued by authorised issuing Officers at Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) stations or NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) fire control centres.
If you are unsure of which fire district you live in, contact your local FRNSW Fire Station using the search below.
Fire permits in FRNSW districts
If you live within a FRNSW Fire district, you are required to obtain a fire permit all year round.
For more information and to apply for a fire permit, contact your local fire station using the search below.
Fire permits in NSW RFS districts
All NSW RFS districts are now within the Bush Fire Danger Period and require a permit.
A fire permit is required for burning activities during the Bush Fire Danger Period in NSW RFS districts. If you live within a NSW RFS district, click here for further information. [external link]
Environmental approval (air pollution)
In the Sydney Basin, open burning for any purpose is not allowed without appropriate written authorisation, whilst in other areas, only fires lit for a certain purpose are permitted and only with appropriate written authorisation.
Residents should review what open burning controls apply under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2022 (PDF) [external link] in their local government area or contact their local council directly for further advice. Learn more from the EPA Website here. [external link]
For a full list of burning activities, the type of environmental approval required, and who issues the approvals, see Fire Permits > Environmental approvals.
Fire permit FAQs
- How long does a permit last?
- What conditions apply to the permit?
- Can a fire permit be cancelled or suspended?
- Before lighting the fire
- Latest information on bushfires and fire danger ratings
How long does a permit last?
A permit issued by FRNSW lasts for a maximum of 14 days. A shorter period can be specified on the permit based on declared bushfire danger periods, local weather conditions and location-specific risks.
What conditions apply to the permit?
The permit issuing Officer may add any conditions deemed as necessary but all permits have standard conditions that are listed on the permit form, such as a minimum of one adult always in attendance; the permit must be carried by the holder at all times, etc.
Can a fire permit be cancelled or suspended?
A permit can be cancelled or suspended at any time.
Permits are automatically suspended during:
- Total fire bans
- No burn days
Unless a permit has expired, it may be used after the lifting of a total fire ban or no burn notice.
To cancel or suspend a permit the holder of the permit must be given notice in writing, unless the issuer of the permit is of the opinion that weather conditions are conducive to the outbreak or spread of a bushfire in which case the permit holder can be notified orally.
Before lighting the fire
It is your responsibility to ensure that the fire:
- For fire permits issued for removal of bushfire fuels, is consistent with the relevant bushfire management plan where the fire location resides within a Bushfire Risk Management Area
- Can be contained and controlled within the specified area
- Will not contain toxic materials, such as rubber tyres, plastics, paint, etc
- Will not cause an air pollution problem by producing excessive amounts of smoke.
You must also check:
- Whether an appropriate authority - either the Commissioner of the Fire and Rescue NSW or the Commissioner of the RFS - has issued a notice banning the issue of permits because of the seriousness of the bushfire danger in the area
- Whether a no burn day has been declared
- Whether a total fire ban is in force
- The expected weather conditions
The permit holder must give at least 24 hours notice of intention to burn to all occupants of adjoining land and to the local fire station or the Fire Control Officer in Rural Fire Districts.
Adjoining lands includes land separated from the permit holder's land by a road, lane or waterway, whether fenced or not. If the land is not occupied, the owners of the land must be notified.
The notice may be either written or verbal and must include details of the location, purpose and time of fire proposed to be lit.
The issuing of fire permits for lighting fires in Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Fire Districts is covered under the Rural Fires Act 1997. [external link]
Latest information on bushfires and fire danger ratings
For the latest information on current bushfire warnings and bushfire safety resources visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au [external link]