Lighting fires on your property can be extremely dangerous. To help reduce the risk, prohibited and restricted times are set according to seasonal conditions and may be adjusted. General information, legal requirements and dates are available in the Your Guide to the Fire Season brochure. Extensions to the Restricted and Prohibited Burning Periods are published on the City's web home page or available on the City's Fire Information Line 9267 9326.
These dates indicate when you are required to obtain a Burning Permit for burning and when the lighting of fires is prohibited. There is a requirement to notify neighbours of planned burning a minimum of 4 days prior to lighting. Penalties apply for offences relating to burning under the Bush Fires Act 1954. Permits for metropolitan areas are issued by City of Swan Community Safety Advocates and in Bushfire Districts (typically in rural areas) by your Local Volunteer Bushfire Brigade. For details see Permit and Local Fire Control Officers.
Burning Restriction Dates: October 1 to November 30 and April 1 to May 31 inclusive. The City of Swan is currently in a Restricted Burn Period. You are not permitted to burn without a Burning Permit during this period. You may obtain a Burning Permit from your local Bush Fire Brigade if your property is within a Bush Fire District or from a City of Swan Customer Advocate if your property is within the Gazetted Fire District. Fire Control Officers are not obligated to issue Permits to Burn and may provide advice on alternatives to burning off.
Burning is Prohibited: December 1 to March 31 inclusive. Also on any day when the Fire Danger Index reaches Very High to Catastrophic or if the Prohibited Burning period is extended.
Burning of Garden Refuse: Garden refuse may be burned after 6pm subject to conditions within the Bush Fires Act 1954, Health Act 1911 and compliance with the City of Swan Consolidated Local Laws 2005.
- The pile of refuse being burnt does not exceed 1m3 and only one pile is a light at any time;
- A 5 metre wide area clear of flammable material surrounds the pile (green lawn, paths, driveways etc may be considered as cleared area);
- The Fire Danger Rating must not be Very High to Catastrophic and the fire is lit between 6pm and 11pm and completely extinguished by midnight;
- At least one person is in attendance at all times and there is adequate means to extinguish the fire available at all times (e.g. garden hose, knapsack, spray or fire unit);
- You must notify your neighbours of your intention to burn and the smoke from your fire does not cause a nuisance to neighbours or a traffic hazard;
- You do not burn household or commercial waste, any noxious materials or any damp, wet or green material which could cause excessive smoke at any time.
Alternatives to Burning: Consider the environment, whenever practical, alternative methods of fuel reduction should be used.
- Composting clippings, branches, twigs and leaves for mulch;
- Utilising Green Waste Collection;
- Utilising the Red Hill Waste Disposal Facility (Toodyay Road, Gidgegannup);
- Large quantities of green waste including large branches and tree trunks can be mulched or chipped on site by mobile mulching services and utilised on the property or shared with neighbours.
Local Law Burning Restrictions
No person shall set fire to or cause to set on fire, any rubbish, refuse or other material unless a licence has been issued on land with an area less than 2,000m2 (1/2 acre). Where a licence has been granted, any person responsible for the control of the fire shall ensure that they comply with:
(i) The Bush Fires Act 1954
(ii) All conditions imposed by the City upon the licence.
Exemptions: The operation of a barbeque, solid fuel heater, water heater, space heater, stove, oven or incinerator fired with dried paper, dry wood, synthetic char or charcoal type fuel provided that no nuisance arises from the burning of such materials.
Burning off on Land Developments & Subdivisions
Burning on Land Development and Subdivisions sites in certain areas are strictly regulated under the Environmental Protection Regulations 1987 Part 7A which is administered and enforced by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Pollution Response Unit.
Burning off on Land Development sites or Subdivision sites within the City of Swan is not permitted on lots, or contiguous lots that are together larger than 2,000m2 and on which development work is being carried out. This includes clearing of vegetation or topsoil, recontouring or other bulk earthworks or trench or road construction.
Burning is permitted if:
- the person conducting the burn is a public authority and the burning is done in exercise of a function conferred by a written law; or
- the burning is carried out for agricultural purposes.
Penalty $5,000 applies. All breaches under this section should be immediately reported to the DEC Pollution Response Unit – 1300 784 782.
Control of Operations Likely to Cause a Bush Fire – Limited Burning Periods
The operation of welding equipment, angle grinders, etc are activities that could cause a fire when used in the open air. The follow conditions apply:
- A person shall provide at least 1 fire extinguisher at the place where welding or cutting operation is carried out and surround this area with a 5 meter wide firebreak
- Keep farm machinery and vehicles clean of dust and vegetation. Check underside for build up particularly around the exhaust system and catalytic converters
- Fit spark arresters to machinery exhausts
- Carry appropriate fire extinguishers, knapsacks or fire appliances