Fires and Bushfires
Fire Danger Season Dates
Mount Lofty - 1 Dec 2020 - 30 Apr 2021
Murraylands - 15 Nov 2020 - 15 Apr 2021
Bushfire Management General Advice
Alexandrina Council is committed to supporting residents to be bushfire ready.
As the property owner, you are responsible for ensuring the preparation of your property for the fire danger season. This includes installing and maintaining fire breaks and reducing fuel loads on your property.
Properties must be prepared prior to the Fire Danger Season and maintained to a standard throughout the Fire Danger Season.
Bushfire Preparedness and Native Vegetation
The management of fuel loads, including the selective management of native vegetation, is one of many steps landowners can take to prepare their properties for the bushfire season.
Removing grassy and woody weeds may be the most suitable method to reduce the fuel load on your property while retaining the environmental values associated with the native vegetation.
With the exception of some large trees within the 1956 floodplain area of the River Murray, you can now modify or removal all vegetation including native vegetation, within 20 metres of a prescribed building (e.g. a house or school) and within 5 metres of a prescribed structure (e.g. garden or pool shed) on your property, without approval from the Country Fire Service (CFS) or the Native Vegetation Council.
Authority to approve native vegetation clearance sits with the CFS. The CFS has a guide that provides a step-by-step process to follow when seeking to reduce, modify or remove native vegetation for bushfire safety.
For more information, please contact the Country Fire Service (CFS) for advice or visit https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/prepare_for_a_fire/prepare_your_home_and_property/native_vegetation_management.jsp
Current burning controls exist to reduce the danger of fire and to minimise the nuisance, which can be caused to other residents by smoke. Residents are encouraged to advise their neighbours whenever possible, before lighting a fire.
There are a number of conditions that must be adhered to for all types of burning:
- burning is not permitted in any street, road or laneway
- burning timber with any chemical preservatives (e.g. permapine, creosote) and burning any prohibited substances is also illegal
- the space immediately around and above the fire must be cleared of all flammable material to a distance of at least 4 metres
- a supply of water adequate to extinguish the fire is on hand at all times
- a person (over the age of 16 years) who is able to control the fire is present at the site of the fire from the time it is lit to the time it is completely extinguished.
Q: When can I burn?
A: There are different rules for burning depending on whether or not it is within the fire danger season. The dates for the 2020 -2021 fire danger season are:
- MOUNT LOFTY RANGES 1 Dec 2020 - 30 April 2021
- MURRAYLANDS 15 Nov 2020 - 15 April 2021
(Note: Subject to change, dates may change annually depending on seasonal conditions)
Burning can take place outside of the Fire Danger Season for the Mount Lofty Ranges Fire District and Murraylands unless otherwise stated.
Q: What can I burn during the Fire Danger Season?
A: For burning information during the Fire Danger Season please see the following link for updated and current information
Q: What can I burn outside of Fire Danger Season?
A: In a built-up area, charcoal is the only material allowed to be burnt. This can be done in a fire no bigger than 1 square metre. When burning, it is illegal to cause a smoke nuisance to neighbours and other persons in the local area. Outside of built-up areas the burning of agricultural, forestry waste or broad-acre burning may be considered as long as the relevant burning code of practice is adhered to. Codes of practice can be found at the following link
Q: How do I determine if I live ‘In a Built-up area’ or ‘Outside a Built-up area?’
A: For the purpose of this Burning Control Fact Sheet: If you live in an area that Council provides a green waste collection service, Council would determine you are located ‘In a Built-up area.’ If you live in an area that Council does not provide a green waste collection service, Council would determine you are living ‘Outside of a Built-up area.’
Q: What is Smoke Nuisance?
A: Any smoke generated from a fire (in the open) or combustion heater that affects a neighbour or is likely to affect a neighbour may attract fines of $500 or significant maximum penalties. This applies to all burning, throughout the entire year.
Q: Can I use a solid fuel BBQ, Weber, Brazier, Chiminea, Fire Pit?
A: Yes, Council recommends only the use of charcoal. Dry wood and dry plant material may be used but the person lighting the fire should consider and avoid causing a potential smoke nuisance. This recommendation applies year-round, but use of these items is not permitted on total fire ban days.
Q: I have just trimmed my trees. Can I pile this green plant material together and burn?
A: In areas that have an allocated green waste collection it is prohibited to burn any green plant material. Outside built-up areas this practice is accepted as long as the relevant burning code of practice is adhered to.
Q: Can I have a fire for the purpose of cooking and personal comfort?
A: Yes, as long as the size of the fire is restricted to a size adequate for the purposes of cooking. Council recommends only the use of charcoal to minimise the potential for smoke nuisance. Dry wood and dry plant material may be used but the person lighting the fire should consider potential smoke nuisance. This applies year-round, however use of fires for cooking or personal comfort are not permitted on total fire ban days.
Q: Can I use an incinerator?
A: Yes, the fire must be contained within a properly constructed incinerator of masonry construction. It must be able to contain fire/sparks on all sides and having a capacity of less than 0.25 cubic metres. This applies year-round, but is not permitted on total fire ban days.
Q: Are there any changes to what I can do in the Fire Danger Season as opposed to outside the Fire Danger Season?
A: All permissible fires or burning within the fire danger season require a 4 metre clearance area around the fire/cooker/incinerator and a responsible person must be in attendance at all times with water and/or extinguisher. There is NO BURNING OR USE OF SOLID FUEL COOKERS / INCINERATORS ON TOTAL FIRE BAN DAYS. Additionally, for comfort fires during the Fire Danger Season, the fire must be located completely within a 30cm trench and be no larger than 1 metre x 1 metre.
Q: What can I burn on declared Total Fire Ban days?
A: No burning or use of incinerators or solid fuel cookers are allowed on total fire ban days. Please see the following CFS webpage https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/bans_and_ratings/what_can_i_do_what_cant_i_do.jsp for further details. All fires, including those in an incinerator are prohibited on a Total Fire Ban day ($10,000 penalty applies).
Alternatives to burning rubbish
Waste materials can be disposed of through the kerbside general waste or kerbside green organics collection service operated by FRWA for those households where collections occur. Refer to the FRWA website for further information. Outside of collection areas, general household refuse including gardening refuse can be deposited, for a fee, at Goolwa Waste and Recycling Depot (8555 7260) on the Goolwa to Victor Harbor Road.
This facility is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.00pm. Saturday 9am to 12pm.
Burning controls are stipulated in the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005, Environmental Protection Air Quality Policy 2016 and Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016. Breaches of these Policies and Acts may result in fines.
Environmental Protection Authority – 8204 2004
Country Fire Service Hotline – 1800 362 361
Alexandrina Council - 8555 7000
For further information about burning controls that apply within Alexandrina Council contact
Council’s Fire Prevention Officer on 8555 7000 or send an email to
This information should be used as a general guide only.
Fire Prevention - What you need to Know
The Fleurieu Bushfire Management Area Plan Dec 2017 document may also be read in conjunction with the interactive map available here: https://cfs.geohub.sa.gov.au/portal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=c8392b87647146d89a81bad4361c05d7
Guide to Bushfire Safety - Also available as a hard copy at Goolwa and Strathalbyn Council offices.
Country Fire Service
For any information contact either the CFS Bushfire Hotline 1800 362 361, or go to the CFS website link below http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/
Better air quality for all of us, know South Australia’s Laws for Burning in the Open.
Tips on how to Burn Better for Good from the EPA (Environment Protection Agency).