Burning off

Burning off grass, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation is a great way to clean up your property, but there are conditions around when you are allowed to do this.

If you live in a residential area on a property less than 2,023 square metres, you normally require a permit to burn.

See below for details.

Burning off during Fire Danger Period

No burning off is permitted during Fire Danger Period without a Permit to Burn, which can be applied for through the Fire Permits Victoria or by calling 1800 668 511.

Fire Danger Period for Mount Alexander Shire ends on 1 May 2023.

Burning off outside Fire Danger Period

Residents living in residential areas are required to obtain an ‘Open air burning permit’ before burning off. 

Burning household or garden waste in the open, or using a backyard incinerator, is banned year-round without a permit.

You do not require a permit if:

  • you are using a barbecue, pizza oven or other properly constructed appliance for cooking food
  • you are using a fire in a brazier or chimenea for heating
  • you are using a tool of trade for the purpose for which it was designed
  • a member of a fire and emergency services agency lights a fire during the course of their duty
  • Council grants you an exemption to the land size restriction of 4,000 square metres or less.

In addition to the conditions listed above and below, you must check CFA's Total Fire Bans and Fire Danger Ratings page before burning off. 

If your property is less than 2,023 square metres (.5 acre)

You must apply for a permit to burn off unless:

  • you burn off on any Tuesday and Saturday outside the Fire Danger Period
  • Council grants you an exemption to the land size restriction of 2,000 square metres or less.

Access to a connected hose or a 20 litre container of water must be available while the fire is burning. This is a requirement under the Country Fire Authority Act (1958).

If your property is above 2,023 square metres (.5 acre)

You don't need a permit to light a fire in the open air on land, including in an incinerator, if:

  • you do not light a fire or allow it to remain alight before 9.00am or after 6.00pm on any day
  • you do not burn more than 10 cubic metres of vegetation at any one time
  • the fire is not within 50 metres of any neighbouring dwelling
  • the fire is not offensive and does not cause any nuisance to another person in the vicinity or outside of the property boundary.

Applying for a permit (outside Fire Danger Period)

Apply for a permit by email or in person:

Download and complete the Open air burning permit application(PDF, 115KB).

Email it to info@mountalexander.vic.gov.au or bring it into our Customer Service Counter at:

Corner Lyttleton and Lloyd Streets
Castlemaine, Victoria 3450

Burning off safely without causing a nuisance

Reduce the spread of fire when burning off

  • Any flammable material must be cleared at least three metres in all directions around the fire
  • A connected hose or 20 litre container of water must be available to reduce the risk of the fire spreading
  • The fire must be attended by a responsible person over 18 years of age, at all times until the fire is extinguished
  • Offensive, noxious or toxic material is not to be burnt
  • Sufficient fire protection equipment need to be available to extinguish the fire, if required
  • The wind speed at the site of the fire must not be more than 15 kilometres an hour (8 knots).

A person must not burn any of the following:

  • Green or wet material.
  • Non-timber based building materials.
  • Rubber or plastic, including plastic mulch, plant pots and packaging materials.
  • Furnishings and carpet.
  • Manufactured chemicals, petroleum or oil products, paint, including any container in which paint is kept or other offensive, noxious or toxic matter.
  • Food waste.
  • Manure and straw.
  • Carcasses of dead animals.

A fire must be supervised at all times the fire is alight.