Fire regulations

Requirements for burning in the open air

Fires can only be lit in the Macedon Ranges shire under certain conditions.  Depending on when you want to burn-off, the size of your land and the amount of vegetation you need to burn, a permit may be required.

If you want to burn in the open air during a declared fire danger period, you need to obtain a permit from the CFA and meet CFA fire restrictions. For more information, see: Burning Off.

You also need to comply with the requirements of Council's Local Law No.10 (available in Word(DOCX, 2MB) and PDF(PDF, 1MB))

You may light a fire without a permit on Council land, a road or a public place where:

  • a fire is in a permanent or portable barbecue used for cooking food
  • the fire is lit by an officer, employee or authorised agent of a public authority in the course of their duty.

Burning off grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation is a great way to clean up your property, but there are conditions around when you’re allowed to do this.

During the Fire Danger Period

During the declared Fire Danger Period, burning off is not allowed.   The CFA has advised that the 2017/18 Fire Danger Period for Macedon Ranges Shire will commence at 1am on Monday 4 December 2017.

Outside the Fire Danger Period

If your land is 4,000 square metres or less

 You must apply for a permit to light a fire in the open air on land, including in an incinerator, unless:

  • you are using a barbecue, pizza oven or other properly constructed appliance for cooking food
  • you are using a fire in a brazier or chimenea for heating
  • you are using a tool of trade for the purpose for which it was designed
  • a member of a fire and emergency services agency lights a fire during the course of their duty
  • the Council grants you a permit to light a fire because the circumstances of the case allow it to provide an exemption to the land size restriction of 4000 square metres or less.

If your land is above 4,000 square metres, but less than 40,000 square metres

You don't need a permit to light a fire in the open air on land, including in an incinerator, if:

  • you do not light a fire or allow it to remain alight before 9am or after 6pm on any day
  • you do not burn more than 10 cubic metres of vegetation at any one time
  • the fire is not within 50 metres of any neighbouring dwelling
  • the fire is not offensive and does not cause any nuisance to another person in the vicinity or outside of the property boundary.

If your land is above 40,000 square metres

You don't need a permit to light a fire in the open air on land, including in an incinerator, if:

  • you do not burn more than 100 cubic metres (e.g. 5 metres wide x 5 metres long x 4 metres high) of vegetation at any one time
  • the fire is not within 100 metres of any neighbouring dwelling
  • the fire is not offensive and does not cause any nuisance to another person in the vicinity or beyond the property boundary.

Total Fire Ban and fire danger ratings

In addition to the above conditions, you must check local CFA for Total Fire Ban information and fire danger ratings before burning off. 

Applying for a permit

To apply for a permit to burn, complete an application and submit it to Council. There is no charge for a permit to burn application:

Reducing nuisance from burning off

Even if you have a permit to burn, you must ensure that:

  • the fire is not offensive or a nuisance to another person in the area or outside of the property boundary
  • the fire does not cause a  hazard to any person's health
  • the fire does not affect visibility outside of the property boundary, this includes reducing visibility for motorists and other users of a public road
  • the fire does not create a hazard on or near a public road
  • the fire is supervised by an adult at all times
  • sufficient fire protection equipment is available to extinguish the fire if required
  • the vegetation to be burnt must be dead and dry before you light it
  • the wind speed at the site of the fire must not be more than 15 kilometres an hour (8 knots).

You must not burn or cause to be burnt any:

  • green or wet material
  • non timber based building materials
  • rubber or plastic, including plastic mulch, plant pots and packaging materials
  • furnishings and carpets
  • manufactured chemicals
  • petroleum or oil products
  • paint, including any container in which paint is kept
  • food waste
  • manure and straw
  • household waste
  • other offensive, noxious or toxic matter.