Bush Fire

The best way to keep you and your family safe is to prevent fires from occurring and know what to do in case of a fire.

Bushfire Management

Bush Fire Management

It is our responsibility to ensure that the fire risk of our bushland is managed effectively to keep our community safe.

Our bush fire responsibility

18,000 hectares, or almost half of the Campbelltown Local Government Area (LGA), is covered by native vegetation.

At an average of 2.95 people per household, there are about 19,000 people living adjacent to our bushland.

Council manages approximately 740 hectares of this bushland including 70 hectares of Asset Protection Zones providing protection to over 6,500 properties.

What does Council do to manage the bush fire risk?

As a member and active participant of the Macarthur Bush Fire Management Committee, we routinely plan and undertake strategic bush fire hazard reduction works across sites within the LGA.

This work is particularly important in urban/bushland areas most at risk to bushfire such as Kentlyn, Wedderburn, Minto Heights, Long Point, Airds, Ingleburn, St Helens Park and Smiths Creek.

What can you do to manage the bush fire risk?

See our Bush Fire Safety page to find out what you can do to manage the bush fire risk.


Bushfire safety

Bush Fire Survival Plan

It is your responsibility to prepare yourself, your family and your home for the threat of a bushfire. You need to make the decision to either leave early or stay and defend a well prepared property.

Prepare your Bush Fire Survival Plan

Your Bush Fire Survival Plan is one of the best ways to help improve the safety of you and your family before the impact of, or during a bush fire.

Prepare yourself and your family

Preparation is not just about cleaning up around the house and having a plan. It is also about making sure you consider your physical, mental and emotional preparedness.

If you have any doubts about your ability to cope, you should plan to Leave Early.

Part of preparing yourself is having a Home Emergency Kit. This includes items which can help you survive a bush fire.

Prepare your property

Regardless of your decision, you must prepare your property to give yourself and your home the best chance of survival.

The Bushfire Household Assessment Tool and the Bush Fire Survival Plan will provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions and the appropriate preparations for your property.

10/50 vegetation clearing - NSW Rural Fire Service

Fire Danger Rating

The Fire Danger Rating gives you an indication of the consequences of a fire, if a fire was to start.

The rating is based on predicted conditions such as the forecast temperature, humidity, wind and dryness of the landscape.

It tells you:

  • how a bushfire may act
  • what impacts there might be on the community if a bushfire were to start
  • when to implement your Bush fire Survival Plan

The higher the fire danger rating is, the more dangerous the conditions are. Keep informed and be ready to act.

Bush Fire Alert Levels

During a bush fire, Alert Levels may be used to give you an indication of the level of threat from a fire.

These alerts may be used on social media, radio, television, the RFS website and in some cases you may receive an Emergency Alert text message or phone call.

Other fires may start so quickly that there will be no time for any warning at all.

Neighbourhood Safer Places

Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP) is a location within the community that can provide a higher level of protection than your home from the immediate life threatening effects of a bush fire.

NSP's still entail some risk, both in moving to them and while sheltering in them, and cannot be considered completely safe.

They are a place of last resort in emergencies only

You can include the closest NSP into your Bushfire Survival Plan but the following limitations need to be considered:

  • NSP do not cater for pets
  • When using NSP do not always expect emergency services to be present
  • NSP do not provide meals, amenity or cater for special needs (e.g. for infants, the elderly, the ill or disabled)
  • They may not provide shelter from the elements, particularly flying embers.

If an NSP is part of your contingency plan it should not require extended travel through fire affected areas to get there.

If there is not sufficient time or it is unsafe to travel to an NSP you should then consider other pre identified safer locations such as your neighbours' home or a wide open space.

Neighbourhood Safer Places of Campbelltown

Place Street Suburb
Macleay Reserve Macleay Street Bradbury
Blinman Park Harrow Road Glenfield
Digger Black Reserve Lancia Drive Ingleburn
Campbelltown Sports Stadium Pembroke Road Leumeah
Bob Prenter Reserve(Monarch Oval) Fields Road Macquarie Fields
Caley Park Rosewood Drive Macquarie Fields
James Meehan Park Brooks Street Macquarie Fields
Coronation Park Redfern Road Minto
Oswald Reserve Oswald Crescent Rosemeadow
James Ruse Park Acacia Avenue Ruse
Woodlands Rd Baseball Complex Karrabul Road and Woodlands Road St Helens Park
Kooringa Reserve Spitfire Drive Varroville/Raby


Community Fire Units

Community Fire Unit (CFU) is a team of local residents who live in urban areas close to bushland in NSW.

These local men and women are trained and equipped by NSW Fire and Rescue to enhance their safety and resilience to bush fire.

They volunteer their time to prepare and protect their properties from spot fires and ember attack in the event of a bush fire, until the fire services arrive.

Preparation, prevention and protection

Being a volunteer CFU member is about preparation, prevention and protection.

With the correct information, training and equipment, you can reduce your bush fire risk and cut down the impact of ember attack on your property.


The NSW Rural Fire Service Assist Infirm Disabled and Elderly Residents (AIDER) Program is a one-off free service, supporting vulnerable residents to live more safely and confidently in their home on bushfire prone land.

AIDER Program services can include:

  • Clearing gutters
  • Thinning vegetation
  • Removing leaf and tree debris
  • Trimming branches overhanging the home
  • Mowing or slashing long grass

AIDER Program fact sheet(PDF, 403KB)

Multicultural Fact Sheets

Translated fact sheets are available in Arabic, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese from the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Home fire safety

In case of a fire:

  • Get out, stay out and dial triple zero
  • 'Get down low and Go, Go, Go!'

If your clothes catch fire:

  • 'Stop, Drop, Cover your face, and Roll'

Did you know that it only takes three minutes for a fire to take hold? House fires can cause serious injury or death, and can destroy your most cherished possessions and home.

Give your family the best chance of surviving a house fire

  • Have at least one installed and operating smoke alarm on each level of your home
  • Know two safe ways out of every room in your home
  • Have a written escape plan in case of fire, and practice it regularly with all household occupants – especially children
  • Ensure that keys to all locked windows and doors are accessible in case you need to escape

Simple home fire safety tips

  • Test smoke alarms regularly and change the batteries at least once every 12 months
  • Have a licenced electrician check your wiring and install a safety switch
  • Don't overload power points and switch off household appliances when not in use
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Never leave open fires unattended and always screen with a proper fireguard
  • Heaters should be kept at least one metre from curtains, furniture and other flammable items
  • Never place clothing over heaters
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children

Resources to keep your home and family safe

Fire and Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service have useful resources and information to help keep your family and home safe from fire.

Open burning

Open burning or “backyard burning” is illegal across the Campbelltown Local Government Area (LGA), including all rural areas and is regulated across NSW by the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2022.

The intention of the Regulation is to minimise air pollution associated with burning. Smoke from burning wood, rubbish and vegetation in open fires and incinerators can contribute to excessive levels of fine particles in the air, which are known to increase the incidence of respiratory diseases and can also create a nuisance to your neighbours.

Backyard burning and unauthorised incineration are prohibited at all times in all council areas in the Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle regions, and in other NSW council areas listed in Schedule 1 of the Clean Air Regulation.

When can fires be lit outside?

To protect the environment and your health, there are only certain situations when fires can be lit outside in NSW. These include:

  • To cook a barbecue in the open
  • Maintain or use a fire for recreational purposes, such as camping, picnicking, scouting
  • Eligible hazard reduction work
  • Some agricultural purposes
  • Authorised fire-fighting training.

Backyard fire pits

You do not need Council approval for a backyard fire pit in the local government area.

Whilst fire pits are not specifically listed in the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation, they are concerned as 'similar outdoor activities'. 

Fire pits must only use dry seasoned wood, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas or preparatory barbecue fuel (including a small quantity of fire starter). Anything else that causes excessive smoke is not allowed. 

Council can take action if fire pits produce excessive smoke for the surrounding residents. 

Refer to the NSW Rural Fires Service Lighting a fire - Quick Facts (PDF) for an overview of days and your responsibilities when lighting a fire.

Before you light that fire (PDF) provides advice for landowners that are planning to burn vegetation on their property.

How you can help to reduce fire and smoke nuisances

  • Only burn clean, dry, non-toxic and combustible material that does not cause smoke
  • Do not light a fire if there is a declared fire ban or fire emergency
  • Don't burn wet and green vegetation, as it causes excessive smoke
  • Make sure you have fire-fighting equipment on the property
  • Make sure you put the fire out with water when you have finished burning
  • Use our Green Waste Services to recycle, reuse or compost waste in preference to burning
  • Take large branches or trees to the tip
  • Need assistance with pruning/removal/branch collection of trees, visit our Tree Management section.

My neighbour is creating a smoke issue. What can I do?

Talk to your neighbour about what concerns you may have or ask for suggestions to solve the problem. Solutions can often be found which satisfy everyone.

When resolution to the problem has not been, or is unlikely to be successful, you can:

More information on Open Burning - reducing air pollution from fires is available on the NSW EPA website.

Outdoor fire safety

Outdoor Fire Safety

It is important to remember that staying safe around fire doesn't just include bushfires and fire risks inside the home. The NSW Rural Fire Service has produced a number of fact sheets to help ensure that you stay safe when having fun outdoors or away from home.

General barbecue safety

Barbeques are extremely popular particularly during the warmer months but they can also become potentially dangerous when mixed with carelessness, especially alcohol.

Simple precautions, pre-planning and care, especially regarding young children is vital. This general barbecue safety fact sheet(PDF, 117KB) provides tips for having a good barbeque.

Holiday camping and caravan fire safety

Between 2000 and 2005 the NSWFB responded to 366 fires resulting in 35 fire-related injuries involving caravans, campers and recreational vehicles. (Source NSWFB Statistics)

Unfamiliar surroundings, poor preparation and lack of attention to detail can quickly result in a fire. Simple precautions, prioritising, pre-planning and care can help ensure you have a safe and relaxing holiday. Holiday camping and caravan safety fact sheet(PDF, 281KB).

Festive season fire safety checklist

Last year 592 fires in NSW were caused by mechanical failure such as short circuits and faulty plugs. We recommend visiting the NSW Rural Fire Service website to assist in keeping your home safe.

Away from home fire safety checklist

Fires can and do occur in unoccupied houses and units while people are away taking a break. Following a simple checklist before you leave on holidays may prevent a fire, or minimise fire impact on you and your home(PDF, 116KB) while you are away.

Boating fire safety

Fire on board any vessel has the potential to be very dangerous due to the isolation from land and the volatility of on board fuels, ie: petrol, gas etc.

Operators of all boats should have the necessary safety equipment installed and know how to use it in an emergency. Taking simple precautions in boating fire safety(PDF, 114KB) can help prevent a fire and make your boating safer.

Portable outdoor heaters

Portable outdoor gas heaters - also known as patio heaters - are a popular way to make outdoor dining possible during the winter months. These heaters are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners but are more widely used by restaurants and outdoor entertainment venues. The following safety tips for portable heaters(PDF, 117KB) should be observed.