Open Burning

Open burning or backyard burning is illegal across Campbelltown City

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.