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Backyard burning and BBQs

Wood smoke from burning in the open can have an impact on people, the environment and contributes to poor air quality in South Australia.

The use of open fires and barbecues is subject to fire ban regulations and restrictions apply throughout the fire season.

The 2020/2021 Fire Danger Season Dates will be announced by the State Government later this year.

Burning in your backyard

Rules around the Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016 have been designed so residents can still enjoy outdoor activities in winter and will minimize the impacts of wood smoke in the community. This allows burning in the open within metropolitan Adelaide where it is for:

Domestic Heating

The following heaters may be used to heat an area used for outdoor entertainment provided that CHARCOAL is used only.



Fire Pit

Fires for the preparation of food or beverages

Fires are permitted when they are solely used for the preparation of food and beverages or the heating of liquid (e.g sauce). This can be done only if you are using charcoal, dried, untreated and unpainted timber or dried garden prunings and do not cause a smoke or ash nuisance.

During Fire Season and on total fire ban days the following additional requirements must be observed:

  • 4 metre clearance around and above the fire
  • A responsible person who is able to control the fire at the site until it is extinguished
  • An appropriate extinguisher is at hand.

Please click here for further information regarding what you can and cannot do during Fire Danger Season through the CFS.

Burning of refuse

Backyard burning of refuse is prohibited in all metropolitan council areas.


It is recommended you speak with the person or group directly in the first instance and they may not be aware of the issue and can encourage them to take heed.

If you are unsuccessful in resolving the issue or feel uncomfortable please report this to our Customer Service Team by calling (08) 8375 6600.

Council will attempt to respond to complaints regarding this matter during our operating hours of 8am to 6.00pm.

If the matter is urgent please contact Emergency Services on 000. Council will follow up non urgent complaints the following business day.