Burning off

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 are allowed to do this.

Burning off during the Fire Danger Period

The Fire Danger Period for the Macedon Ranges Shire will begin at 1am on Monday 9 January 2023.

No burning off is permitted during the Fire Danger Period without a Permit to Burn, which can be applied for through the Fire Permits Victoria or by calling 1800 668 511.

Burning off outside of the Fire Danger Period

During December 2022, the following requirements do not apply as burning off restrictions were lifted on 1 December, however, anyone burning off must still register their burn on the Fire Permits Victoria website, or by calling ESTA on 1800 668 511, ensure that they avoid impacts to their neighbours, and should continue to monitor any burn off for at least seven days to ensure it is fully extinguished. These restrictions will apply from 1 January 2023 until the Fire Danger Period begins at 1am on Monday 9 January.

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
  • Council grants you an exemption to the land size restriction of 4,000 square metres or less.

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

If your property is less than 4,000 square metres (one acre)

You must apply for a permit to burn off unless Council grants you an exemption to the land size restriction of 4,000 square metres or less.

If your property is above 4,000 square metres (one acre), 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 property 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.

Apply for a permit (outside of the fire danger period)

During December 2022, the following permits are not required as burning off restrictions were lifted on 1 December. These restrictions will apply from 1 January 2023 until the Fire Danger Period begins at 1am on Monday 9 January.

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

When burning off, 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 any of the following to be burnt:

  • 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.