Towong Shire

Fire Permits and Restrictions

If you are intending to undertake outdoor burning activities on your property, it's important to be aware of your obligations.

Fire permits and restrictions may apply depending on where you live, what you are burning and how you are burning it, and what time of the year it is. 

Depending on your location, the assessment of permits may be done by Council’s Fire Prevention Officer, or your local CFA District Office. To find out more, contact either:

  • Council’s Fire Prevention Officer: call 02 6071 5100 or email info@towong.vic.gov.au, or

  • Wodonga CFA District Office: call 02 6043 4400 

Some guidelines for what is and isn’t permitted are below. However, please contact Council or the CFA for tailored advice relevant to your situation.

What can and can't be burned

Unless you have a permit, you must not light an incinerator or open fire, except for:

  • A fire in a barbeque while being used for the purpose of cooking food

  • A fire in a chiminea or potbelly stove or a small open fire in a suitable container for heating, cooking, cultural or social purposes which is not offensive

  • A fire generated by a tool of trade of trade while being used for the purpose for which it was designed

  • A fire contained in a properly constructed fireplace within a dwelling for the purpose of heating

  • A fire lit by a member of a Country Fire Authority brigade or station in the course of his or her duty or a member of the public who holds a permit

Unless you have a permit, you must not light a campfire or barbeque using solid fuel unless:

  • The fire is contained in an approved fireplace or trench of at least 30 centimetres deep

  • The ground and airspace within a distance of 3 metres from the outer perimeter and uppermost point of the fire are clear of all potentially flammable material

  • The fire does not occupy an area exceeding 1 square metre; 

  • The dimensions of any solid fuel used are the minimum necessary for the purpose

You must not burn any substance which contains:

  • Food waste, fish or other offensive or noxious matter

  • Any rubber or plastic

  • Any petroleum or oil

  • Any paint or receptacle which contains or which contained paint

  • Any manufactured chemical

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.

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.

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 October 2020