Can I have a fire pit in my backyard?

people sitting around backyard fire pit
It can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing rules and regulations, so we've created this handy guide for backyard fire pit laws for each state in Australia.

Updated July 13, 2021

One of the most common questions we get asked here at MAX Fire Pits is “Can I have a fire pit in my backyard?” and it’s easy to see why. The regulations and laws governing backyard fire pit usage vary from state to state, and they are often updated so it’s a bit of a minefield to make sure you are doing the right thing.

With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing more of us to stay at home and with rolling lockdowns in most states, we are tending to spend more time outside on the weekends. As a result, fire pit usage has grown considerably over the last two years. And while this is great news, there has also been an increase in complaints surrounding fire pits and smoke from neighbours, especially in more built up areas.

Why do we even need fire pit regulations?

With different states having control over the fire pit regulations, it’s easy to see why making sure you aren’t doing the wrong thing can be tricky to navigate. As our country is so diverse, changes in climate and environmental concerns vary state to state so a one-size-fits-all mentality is unlikely to be effective.

Ultimately, the regulations surrounding fires and fire pits in backyards are in place to protect both the fire pit owner, and the people who live around it. Keeping smoke to a minimum to make sure that people with lung conditions don’t suffer needlessly is one of the key factors, as well as reducing pollution in more built up areas.

Can I have a fire pit in my backyard nsw?

With a massive proportion of the population, New South Wales and the Greater Sydney region have a good reason for their regulations. With a lot of residents in built-up urban areas, making sure their fires don’t cause any problems is essential.

Here’s the regulations for Sydney:

Reducing air pollution from fires
https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/air/open-burning-reducing-pollution

Don’t let your fire smoulder overnight
https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/air/reducing-wood-smoke-emissions/what-you-can-do-about-wood-smoke-pollution/dont-let-your-fire-smoulder-overnight

Wood smoke brochure
https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/-/media/epa/corporate-site/resources/air/wood-smoke.pdf?la=en&hash=C0A04D2AE062DC81B00A878A80D0BA6A68FAB15B

Friends enjoying a fire pit in NSW backyard

Can I have a fire pit in my backyard victoria?

As one of our coldest southern states, backyard fire pits in Victoria have become more and more popular since the pandemic started. Coupled with the fact that a lot of the suburbs of Melbourne are densely populated it’s not hard to understand how a fire in suburban areas might cause a problem.

It’s surprising that it’s a little more difficult to find quality information on the regulations for fire pit usage in the Melbourne City area than the other states. Perhaps they are working on upgrading access to this info.

Here’s a list of resources for the Melbourne area:

City of Melbourne Local Laws
https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/residents/local-laws-permits/Pages/local-laws.aspx

CFA Fire Permits Website
https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/fire-permits

Find Your Fire District
https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/find-your-fire-district

People enjoying a backyard fire pit in Melbourne

Can I have a fire pit in my backyard qld?

With each local council area having ultimate control over the regulations for its residents, there are quite a few different nuances based on where you live.

Here’s a guide for the Brisbane area:

Brazier and fire pit guidelines
https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/clean-and-green/natural-environment-and-water/air-quality/brazier-and-fire-pit-use#guidelines

Minimising smoke from backyard burning
https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/laws-and-permits/complaints-and-fines/noise-air-light-and-water-complaints/air-and-odour-complaints/smoke-ash-and-fumes-complaints/minimising-smoke-from-backyard-burning

Smoke, ash and fumes complaints
https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/laws-and-permits/complaints-and-fines/noise-air-light-and-water-complaints/air-and-odour-complaints/smoke-ash-and-fumes-complaints

Young couple sit around their fire pit in Brisbane

What is the best type of wood in a fire pit to reduce smoke?

You only want to use dry, seasoned wood in any outdoor fire. Leaves, green branches or wood with a high moisture content can create a lot of unwanted smoke that will annoy your neighbours.

What happens if my neighbours complain about my fire?

The first thing to remember is that everyone has a right to live a comfortable life and be safe in their own homes, so if your smoke is annoying them its always a good idea to take it seriously and try to do the right thing by your neighbours.

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