Breathe Easy: Understanding Risks Of Open Air Burning

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With input from over 2,200 individuals in 2023, the community emphasised the importance of open air burning for fire prevention, while also expressed concerns about its potential risks to public health and the environment.

We understand how essential open air burning is for larger residential and rural blocks, however if not managed correctly, it can pose a significant risk due to the emission of small particulate matter.

We’re keen to work with property owners this year on the correct management of open air burning to protect the health of owners, their families and neighbours, while also minimising the impact on the environment.

What can you do to help?

There are simple measures that you can take before burning off to protect the health of yourself, your family and neighbours:

  • Check wind and weather conditions before starting your burn off.
  • Postpone your burn off if wet conditions are predicted or neighbouring properties may be impacted by smoke.
  • Discuss with your neighbours before burning off if you think that smoke may impact them.
  • Only burn dry wood and branches.
  • Do not burn treated pine, wet wood, painted or stained timber, particle board or any waste/rubbish.
  • Avoid burning any green waste, branches where possible.
  • Ensure proper air flow through your burn pile.
  • Avoid leaving the burn off to smoulder overnight or for extended periods.
  • Consider alternative methods of fuel reduction.

To learn more, like the alterative types of fuel reduction, check out our resources here:

Quotes attributable to Mayor Councillor Simon Brooks:

“Our aim is to ensure that residents understand the potential health impacts of open air burning and are equipped with the knowledge to manage it responsibly. By raising awareness, we can empower our community to make informed decisions that prioritise both fire prevention and public health.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Mayor Councillor Antonella Celi, Chair of Council’s Health and Wellbeing Committee:

“The effective management of open air burning to reduce the impact on the environment and public health is important. By working together with property owners, we can ensure that best practice in fire management and prevention can be used to significantly reduce emissions and air pollution in the best interest of our community’s health and wellbeing.”

/Public Release. View in full here.