Burning Regulations & Pile Burns for Bushfire Fuel Management


Recreational and Cooking Fires

During a total fire ban, campfires, recreational fires, solid fuel barbecues, ovens and kettles are prohibited. A gas or electric barbecue may be used during a Total Fire Ban provided:

  • It is on a residential property.
  • It is within 20 metres of a house, dwelling or within a Council approved area.
  • It is under the direct control of an adult.
  • The ground within three metres of the barbecue is cleared of all materials which could burn.
  • There is a continuous supply of water available.

At all other times a campfire or barbecue may be lit for cooking or warmth providing:

  • The fire is in a permanently constructed fire place with at least two metres cleared of any combustible material, or
  • It is at a site with at least three metres cleared of any combustible material.
  • An adult is in attendance at all times.
  • The fire is completely extinguished before leaving.


Agricultural or Hazard Reduction Burning

Agricultural burning relates to the removal of stubble or diseased crops and applies only where the property has agricultural land users.

Hazard reduction burning can only be conducted where the property has a significant area of bushland on or near to it. Material to be burnt must be natural vegetation only. Burning of waste materials is prohibited and penalties apply.

You must:

  • Obtain a permit to burn during the bushfire danger period. Permits are available from the NSW Rural Fire Service – The Hills District Phone: 02 9654 1244.
  • Provide 24 hours notice, outside the bushfire danger period to your adjoining neighbours and to the NSW Rural Fire Service – The Hills District Phone: 02 9654 1244.
  • Check with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) about air pollution. No burning is permitted on high pollution days. Phone: 131 555.
  • Ensure an adult is in attendance at all times.
  • Make sure adequate supply of water is available at all times.
  • Clear an area of 4.5 metres around any pile of vegetation.


Council has issued a General Approval for pile burns under specific circumstances. 

Pile Burning

Pile burning is only permitted on:

a) Land zoned RU1, RU2, RU3 and RU6 under The Hills Local Environmental Plan 2019, and

b) On allotments greater than 4,000m2 in area; and

c) On an allotment that contains an approved dwelling; and

d) Land located outside of the Sydney Fire District (Fire and Rescue NSW area).

If your land zoning falls outside the above but you meet b), c) and d) you are required to submit to Council an 

Application for Approval to Burn Dead and Dry Vegetation(PDF, 114KB)

Piles must be constructed and burnt in accordance with the NSW RFS Pile Burn Standards. In particular:

  • Piles should be 2 metres in length and width and 1.5 metres high.
  • Piles should only consist of dead or dry vegetation originating on the property.
  • Any form of waste material in the pile to be burnt is prohibited and appropriate waste disposal methods should be explored.

Information on General Approval for Pile Burns for Bushfire Fuel Management(PDF, 57KB)

If you don't comply with the terms of the Notice of Approval an application form (below) will be required for submission to council.

Application for Approval to Burn Dead and Dry Vegetation(PDF, 114KB)

Please be advised that approval to burn in areas zoned residential is unlikely to be successful and it is recommended that alternate means for removal of the vegetation waste be utilised.

Also, if your land is located in Castle Hill, and the below areas of Dural and Glenhaven you are in Sydney Fire District and require a Fire Permit from Fire and Rescue NSW.

  • Dural - 4 Stonelea Court, 1 and 1A Malabar Road, 446-470 Old Northern Road, 476-494 Old Northern Road.
  • Glenhaven - 1-3 Glenhaven Road, Streets south of Glenhaven Road from Old Northern Road west to Mills Road.

To arrange this, you will need to contact your nearest FRNSW Station once you have Council approval.


Fire Permits

During the Bush Fire Danger Period (1 September - 31 March) you are required to obtain a Fire Permit prior to conducting any burning from NSW Rural Fire Service as well as notification to Council.

For information on how to obtain a Fire Permit, please contact The Hills District RFS on 02 9654 1244 or email thehills.fcc@rfs.nsw.gov.au.

A Fire Permit is required by Fire & Rescue NSW all year round for any fire lit within Sydney Fire District.


Failure to Comply

Failure to comply with the Notice of Approval may result in an on-the-spot fine of $500 for individuals and $1000 for corporations. In the event of prosecution, the maximum penalty is $5,500 for an individual and $11,000 for a corporation.


Notification of Pile Burning

  • By completing the following form, you are acknowledging and complying with your obligations to notify the NSW Rural Fire Service.
  • You are required to submit this form at least 24 hours prior to your intention to burn.
  • You are also required to notify all your adjoining neighbours at least 24 hours prior to burning.

Click here to view form.