Towong Shire

Fire Permits and Restrictions

During the fire danger period, the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 (CFA Act) requires that a permit to burn is required for all fires in the open air in all areas of the municipality regardless of land size or tenure.

When fire restrictions are in force, no burning off can be done without a permit, including on road sides.

On days when a Total Fire Ban is declared, no fires can be lit in the open from midnight to midnight. Fixed and portable gas or electric barbecues can be used, however conditions apply. In some cases, a permit may be required.

Council Permit Requirements
Towong Shire residents are encouraged to contact Council’s Fire Prevention Officer on 02 6071 5100 for advice before undertaking any burning activities. Our Fire Prevention Officer can advise residents about their obligations when conducting burning activities. The requirements vary depending on where you live or what time of the year it is, so it is best to speak with us before starting a burn. In a township area a fire can only be lit within purpose built equipment, such as a barbecue, stove or chiminea for heating or cooking purposes.

All open fires within Towong Shire require a permit (exemptions may apply to agricultural zoned properties in the Shire, contact Council on 02 6071 5100 to clarify if you are eligible for a permit exemption). Burning garden waste or other items requires a valid permit or licence and permits will only be issued for rural and agricultural areas. The construction and/or use of incinerators for any purpose is prohibited throughout the shire, unless a valid permit or licence has been obtained.

Fire Hazard Notices
Council inspects properties in township areas for fire hazards prior to the start of each bushfire season. If a property is overgrown or contains derelict cars, buildings or other rubbish, a Fire Prevention Notice can be issued. For properties that have been issued with a notice, the owner or occupier must remove the hazards within fourteen days or risk incurring a fine plus the cost of Council removing the hazard.

Got a question? Need to apply for a permit to burn?
Council’s Emergency Management Fire Co-ordinator can be contacted on 02 6071 5100 to assist residents with their queries in relation to burning off or fire hazards.


How to apply

The lodgement of an application does not constitute a permit. A permit has not been granted until you receive a written permit, signed by an authorised officer. Allow a minimum of 21 days for the processing of this application.

All permits are null and void on a CFA declared Total Fire Ban (TFB) Day.

Permits to Burn during the Fire Danger Period under the CFA Act are generally issued by local municipalities and may be subject to additional requirements imposed by that municipality. These permits generally apply to the burning of grass, scrub and other vegetation for essential agricultural and industrial purposes. Permits for lighting fires for other purposes during the Fire Danger Period, for example industrial burning, cutting etc, must be obtained from the CFA website.

The application process

  • Your application will be referred to a Municipal Fire Prevention Officer (MFPO) or their delegate for assessment. The officer may need to undertake a site inspection, and on occasion further site inspections may be required. The officer may ask you for further information and this should be provided in writing including the application number.
  • All burn-offs are to comply with the Environmental Protection Act 1970.
  • Your neighbours may be notified by the MFPO or their delegate and asked to comment on the application, subject to the nature of the activity.
  • The application may be referred to other departments of Council for assessment.
  • If granted, the permit will be issued, in writing. The permit will include the exact conditions, dates, times etc, and all items must be complied with. On the day, the site may be inspected to ensure compliance and if it is found that the permit has not been complied with, enforcement action including rescinding the permit, issuing infringements and/or prosecution may result.
  • Council may correct, amend or cancel the permit at its discretion.
  • The permit is not transferable without the consent of the issuing officer.
  • Your application may be refused, in which case you will be advised in writing. You can appeal this decision by writing to the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer.

Download a permit application form here.  

Last updated: 01 April 2020