Skip to main content

Burning and Fire Guidelines

Burning in the Adelaide Hills presents a raft of dangers and as such, is highly regulated and should only be carried out as a last resort and where permitted by Council.

Bushfire smoke over Summertown

No matter where you live, burning in the open must be done in accordance with CFS Codes of Practice for Broad Acre Burning and Vegetation Rubbish Pile Burning. Burning in the open is only allowed outside the fire danger season and on non-fire ban days.

For more information on what you can and cannot do during Fire Danger Season, please visit the CFS website or refer to the links below.

Food preparation fires

Fires using charcoal, dry wood, or other dry plant material for preparing food or beverages do not require a permit, however fires must be of a size corresponding to this purpose.

Permits

There is no cost to apply for a permit and assessment of an application is undertaken promptly.

Permits can be issued with a 'window' of time to burn of up to a maximum of two months to provide flexibility to permit holders. Permits issued will be valid between 10am to 3pm Monday to Saturday, inclusive.

Everyone who lives in the Adelaide Hills Council Area falls into one of three categories for burning permits.

  1. Townships
  2. Adelaide metropolitan area (excluding townships)
  3. Non-Adelaide metropolitan area (excluding townships).

For further information please call Council on (08) 8408 0400.

Burning within all townships

If you live in a township (excluding Greenhill) you may need to apply for an individual permit (refer to the table below).

If a permit is issued, burning can only be Carried out between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Saturday, inclusive.

Maps of township areas are available in Council Offices, Libraries and below. Or call Council on 8408 0400.

Burning activity Conditions/requirements
Use of a brazier, chiminea or a fire pit for outdoor domestic heating. No permit. Fuel is restricted to charcoal only, no wood allowed.
Campfire in the course of camping, scouting or a similar outdoor recreational activity. Requires Council approval by permit.
Burning agricultural or forestry waste. Requires Council approval by permit.
Burning vegetation for fire prevention or control. Requires Council approval by permit.
Burning vegetation for any other purpose. Requires Council approval by permit.

Detailed township maps

Adelaide Hills Council has declared a number of townships pursuant with the Local Government Act 1999 and declared for the purposes, without limitation, of administering the burning controls under the Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016 and Council's By-law No 5 – Dogs.

Council has defined a township as as any part of the area of a council that contains at least 20 residences, published in the South Australian Government Gazette.

Please note, these township boundaries in no way affect planning and development matters such as property zoning and development rights.

Adelaide metropolitan area (excluding townships)

If you are in the Adelaide metropolitan area, outside of a township (except Greenhill), you do not need a permit from Council for the following burning activities, as a general permit has been issued, by notice, in local newspapers and on Council's website.

For any of these burning activities you need to comply with conditions of the general permit.

  • Burning agriculture or forestry waste
  • Burning off vegetation for fire prevention or control
  • Burning vegetation comprising dry wood or other dry plant material in a brazier, chiminea or fire pit in the open for domestic heating
  • Lighting or maintaining a fire in the open using vegetation comprising dry wood or other dry plant material for a campfire or barbecue in the course of camping, scouting or a similar outdoor recreational activity

Burning for any other purpose requires a permit from Council.

Non-Adelaide metropolitan area (excluding townships)

If you are outside the Adelaide metropolitan area, outside of a township, a permit is not required.

Burn only as a last resort

Alternatives to burning:

  • Utilise Council's free green organic drop off days
  • Use your green organics kerbside bin
  • Compost your green organics and use on your garden

Council has a Burning Permit Policy that regulates burning in the open. The policy provides residents with the continued ability to undertake bushfire fuel reduction work whilst minimising air pollution from burning in the open.

Council's Burning Permit Policy was developed in response to the introduction of the Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016. The Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016 was created by the Environment Protection Authority with the intent of better protecting and improving the health of South Australians and our environment through improved air quality. The Policy regulates air emissions including those from burning in the open.

Burning permit application

Apply for a burning permit

Subscribe to
stay up-to-date

Full Name