Can I have a fire pit in my backyard?

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Max Firepits

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

Updated Thursday April 4, 2024

One of the most common questions we get asked here at MAX Fire Pits is about the legality of backyard fire pits and it’s easy to see why. So, can I have a fire pit in my backyard? The regulations and laws governing backyard fire pit usage vary from state to state, and they are often updated without warning, so it’s a bit of a minefield to make sure you are doing the right thing. The last thing you want to do is to illegally start outdoor fires when there are fire ban regulations in place and risk fines from your city council for creating a smoke nuisance.

With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing more of us to stay at home and with rolling lockdowns in most residential areas, we are tending to spend more time outside on the weekends, either cooking food or enjoying an outdoor fireplace.

“I love nothing more than having a fire in my backyard, especially over a winter weekend. If you follow a few simple rules, you can make it super easy on yourself – not too much cleanup and if you use the right firewood that’s nice and dry and avoid leaf material and paper, you can keep the smoke right down too!”

– Adele Maynard, MAX Fire Pits Owner

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 open fire pits and smoke from neighbours, especially in more built up areas. Check our handy guide on how to reduce smoke from your fire pit.

Why do we even need fire pit regulations?

With different states having control over the outdoor 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. The negative effects of excessive smoke and toxic fumes from a backyard fire pit can affect your neighbours and surrounding streets.

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 backyard fire 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 your backyard fire doesn’t cause any problems is essential. Also, during summer there are many rolling fire bans for commercial and recreational fires, so it’s important to make sure you are on top of the safety risk of building a fire.

Here’s the regulations for Sydney:

Reducing air pollution from fire pits

Don’t let your fire smoulder overnight

Wood smoke brochure

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 backyard fire in suburban areas might cause a problem. It’s critical to follow the fire pit laws and make sure you are burning wood safely.

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 or working with the local fire department to refine the guidelines. Either way, keeping up to date with current fire bans is important if you don’t want to cop a nasty fine from council.

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

City of Melbourne Local Laws

CFA Fire Pit Permits Website

Find Your Fire District

Here’s the fire pit restrictions for the Geelong area

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 a recreational fire, there are quite a few different nuances based on where you live.

Here’s a guide for the Brisbane City Council area:

Guidelines for braziers and camping fire pits

Minimising smoke from a recreational fire

Fire pit smoke, ash and fumes complaints

Young couple sit around their fire pit in Brisbane

Can I have a fire pit in my backyard tasmania?

With some of the coldest weather in the country, Tasmania is the perfect place to have a roaring fire pit. Most homes in this state have fireplaces inside their homes, but what are the regulations for having an open fire pit outside? Here’s a list of resources to make sure you are following the guidelines and doing the right thing.

Tasmanian Fire Service,until%20it%20is%20completely%20extinguished.

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service

Hobart City Council

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 excessive smoke that will annoy your neighbours and cause problems. It’s critical that when planning to light any recreational fires, that you burn wood that is suitable, even it means purchasing from a local supplier.

What happens if my neighbours complain about my fire pits?

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. Maintaining good air quality is especially important with those with underlying health conditions such as asthma or emphysema.

What makes is easy to clean up after a backyard fire?

One of the best ideas is to make sure you have some easy garbage options handy for around the fire – somewhere to put your empty bottles, cans and rubbish. This means you don’t end up with junk all around the fire that you need to clean up the next morning.

Why do some states not let you have a fire pit in your backyard?

Obviously, each state is different but ultimately they need to make sure that all residents are happy and comfortable and having lots of smoke from a fire can cause issues. People with respiratory diseases especially are affected by backyard fires so the rules and regulations are in place to protect their way of live and health.



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