Air quality can be affected by smoke from fires. State Regulations relating to smoke emissions were introduced in August 2007 to control air pollution.
Burning in the Open Air on Properties less than 2000m²
Under State Regulations, burning any material in the open air on properties where land area is less than 2000m² (which includes most average suburban blocks) is not allowed.
Are barbecues included under these restrictions?
Barbecues are not subject to the prohibition on backyard burning but they must be burned using well-seasoned, dry firewood and burnt with a flame to reduce smoke emissions. The fire must not cause a nuisance to neighbouring properties.
Under some circumstances, such as total fire ban periods, approval to light a barbecue must be sought from Tas Fire Service. Contact them on 6214 8800 or view details at http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/ for more information.
Burning in the Open Air on Properties Greater than 2000m²
The following information sheet provides detail about smoke emission from fires on properties over 2000m²:
Under some circumstances, such as fire permit periods, fires in the open must be approved by Tas Fire Service. Contact them on 6214 8800 or view details at http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/ for more information.
Unsure of the size of your land?
If you are unsure of the size of your land, please check the Certificate of Title for your property or contact Clarence City Council’s Customer Service Officers on 6245 8600 for details.
Smoke from Wood Heaters
Smoke from wood heaters has the potential to cause serious health and environmental impacts if they are not operated satisfactorily or if incorrect materials are burnt.
Use the following as a guide to using your wood heater to reduce smoke emissions:
- Check your wood heater complies with relevant Australian Standards – see http://epa.tas.gov.au/epa/australian-wood-heater-standards (applies to installation of new wood heaters)
- Ensure the fire wood is stored under cover to aid in drying and keeping it dry
- Only using well-seasoned, dry firewood. The Firewood Association of Australia* recommends buying wood in the summer months and stack under a roof cover with open sides.
- Wood moisture meters are available for purchase from a number of sources to check whether wood is suitably dry for burning. Further details on wood moisture levels are available from the Firewood Association of Australia
- Always burn with a flame
- Burn the fire on high for 20 minutes after adding wood
- Always keep the air vents open enough to keep some kind of flame
- Don't shut your fire right down when you go to bed
- Never let the fire smoulder.
Please click to see more information about effective wood heater operations.
What is “well-seasoned”, dry fire wood?
“Well seasoned” wood is timber that has reduced moisture content. When timber has just been harvested, it contains moisture that has been absorbed by the roots to help the tree grow. When the timber is cut, the wood still contains the moisture until it has been stacked and properly stored, undercover, for an extended period to allow the moisture to evaporate.
Because it is dry, seasoned wood burns with greater heat than “unseasoned” or “green” wood and produces less smoke.
Seasoned wood can be identified by being less weighty than unseasoned wood, as it contains less moisture. It may appear a grey colour at the cut end and may be split and open in the grain.
More information about effective wood heater operation can be found under 'Air Quality' on the EPA website: http://www.epa.tas.gov.au/
The Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services provides more information on the potential health impacts of wood smoke exposure. The Department also provides public health alerts for air quality at sites around Tasmania using real time data http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/alerts/air/my_health
Green Waste Collection
Clarence City Council provides a green waste collection service to urban and rural village residents.