Burning Off

Throughout the year people may choose to clean up and maintain their property. Much of this may involve creating green waste such as cuttings, lawn clippings, etc. The most appropriate options for the removal of such waste include composting, mulching or disposal at a refuse disposal site. One option people may consider is burning off. Please note backyard burning is banned on all blocks of less than 2,000 square metres in area.


Most residential blocks are less than 2,000 square metres and therefore burning off is not an option. One of the main reasons for this is due to the sensitivity of the Tamar Valley airshed and it’s air quality. There is already considerable amounts of smoke being emitted into the airshed from sources such as woodheater smoke and bush fires. Any additional contributions to this has significant effect on the airshed, air quality and other peoples enjoyment of the environment.

For blocks more than 2,000 square metres in area with NO OTHER option than burning the waste, there are important factors which must be taken into account, such as the type of materials. It is essential to ensure all wood and vegetation is dry prior to burning. Please note it is prohibited to burn waste such as household rubbish, plastic, tyres, etc.

Where burning off is absolutely necessary on permitted block sizes, it is important to note that this activity MAY ONLY be undertaken if it does not cause an environmental nuisance. This can be achieved by only burning dry material when desirable weather conditions are present. This ensures smoke will be less likely to spread to neighbouring properties, therefore avoiding an environmental nuisance.

For more information, please see the following brochure: Burning off


Smoke reduces the quality of the air we breathe. Prolonged exposure to smoke from wood heaters is a significant problem for people who have chronic illnesses like asthma and heart conditions. In Tasmania, poor air quality is common during the colder months when the air is calm, as wood smoke tends to build up and linger for days, particularly in low-lying areas.

​If you use a wood heater you can reduce smoke pollution and help your neighbours to breathe easier. Simply follow these steps to burn your wood heater brighter, warmer and cleaner, this winter:

  • Always burn with a flame - don't let your fire smoulder
  • After reloading, open the air control and burn your fire on high for 20 minutes, especially before going to bed
  • Only burn dry, seasoned wood
  • Ensure your flue is clean

Further information on smoke can be found on the Environmental Protection Authority Website.

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