Think before you burn this spring

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is reminding anyone planning to burn as part of a spring clean-up to check with their council first to see whether they need approval.

EPA program manager Steven Mudge said a permit was required to burn outdoors in metropolitan Adelaide and in townships.

“A bonfire is not necessarily the best way of dealing with organic material like fallen branches and garden prunings, especially in the suburbs or inside town limits,” Mr Mudge said.

“In most cases, the preferred option is to dispose of the material through your council’s free green waste drop-off days or via the regular green bin system.

This system has the added benefit of recycling the material for compost rather than just burning it.

“Your council will issue a permit if burning is considered necessary for fire prevention or to dispose of piles of agricultural or forestry waste,” Mr Mudge advised.

“This won’t affect anyone’s ability to prepare for bushfire season.

“If you are planning to burn, ask your local council to see whether you are in an area that needs a permit.

If you do need approval, they will be able to talk you through the process.” The penalty for burning in the open without a permit is $300, so checking before you burn could save you a lot of money.

Mr Mudge said the regulations covering burning in the open were updated in 2016 to apply to all built-up areas across the state.

“Smoke can have serious effects on human health and pollute the environment,” he said.

“It can affect anyone, but the risks are greater for the elderly, young children, and people who have cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.

“As well as being hazardous to health, smoke is more likely to create a nuisance in built-up areas, so it’s also a matter of being considerate to your neighbours.”

Wood-burning barbecues and pizza ovens, and outdoor heating options that use charcoal, such as chimineas and braziers, do not require a permit and can be used on any day when there is not a fire ban in place.

Any material being burnt should be dry and well-seasoned, and must not be treated with white ant deterrents.

For more information on burning in the open, visit or contact your local council.

If you are doing a broadacre burn or disposing of vegetation piles outside a township, no permit is required, but you must comply with the relevant CFS Code of Practice:

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