Restrictions apply to campfires and barbeques in Victoria. These restrictions are important to reduce the chance of a bushfire that could result in loss of life and property. They are actively enforced.

Fire restrictions for campfires and barbeques vary depending on the fire risk on a particular day or time of year, and whether the activity is on public or private land.

You should monitor all available media to be aware of Code Red days, Total Fire Ban days and seasonal Prohibited Periods, and take appropriate action.

This page is a guide only. More detail on requirements can be found in the Forests (Fire Protection) Regulations 2014.

For assistance or further information, please contact us.

If in doubt, do not light a fire.

On Code Red fire danger rating days

State forests and national parks will be closed on Code Red days, so no campfire or barbeque activities can occur.

Code Red fire danger is declared by fire ban district, or the whole state.

Read more about Public safety on public land on Code Red days.

On Total Fire Ban days

Total Fire Ban days are declared by fire ban district or the whole state.

More information about Total Fire Bans

Campfires and solid and liquid fuel barbeques and ovens are banned on Total Fire Ban days.

Barbeques fired by gas or electricity are permitted as long as the appliance and fire prevention measures comply as below:

The appliance is -

  • a permanently fixed structure built of stone, metal, concrete or another non-flammable material designed exclusively for meal preparation, or
  • designed and commercially manufactured exclusively for meal preparation (including portable barbecues), and when alight is placed in a stable position.

The fire prevention measures are -

  • the area within a distance of 3 metres from the outer perimeter of the barbecue is clear of flammable material
  • you have either a hose connected to a water supply or a vessel with at least 10 litres of water for immediate use
  • an adult is there at all times when the fire is alight who has the capacity and means to extinguish the fire
  • the fire is completely extinguished before the adult leaves.

Parks and picnic areas may be closed on days of elevated fire danger.

Read more about total fire ban park closures.

At all other times

On state forest, national park and protected public land, campfires and barbeques are permitted in the open air as long as you observe the following conditions:

Solid fuel -

  • the fire is lit in a properly constructed fireplace or in a trench at least 30cm deep
  • the fire does not occupy an area exceeding 1 square metre in any direction
  • all dimensions of the solid fuel are less than 1 metre
  • the ground and airspace within a distance of 3 meters from the outer perimeter and upper most point of the fire are clear of flammable material

Liquid, gaseous or chemical solid fuel -

  • the fire is contained in an appliance designed and commercially manufactured to use that fuel and
  • the appliance when alight is placed in a stable position and
  • the ground and airspace within 1.5 metres of the appliance is clear of flammable material

National parks and reserves - additional restrictions may apply to campfires and barbeques.  When planning to have a campfire or barbeque in a national park, always check with Parks Victoria for any restrictions applying within the specific park.

State forest reserves - information about additional restrictions applying in State forests reserves can be obtained at Visiting state forests.

Note: Always ensure that the fire is completely extinguished before you leave, or ensure that a person who has the capacity and means to extinguish the fire is in charge of it. Never leave a campfire or barbeque unattended.

On state forest, national park or protected public land, those in charge of a campfire or barbeque must not be more than 50 metres away from it and be able to see the fire at all times.  Note this requirement does not apply to private land.

Seasonal Prohibited Period on private land adjoining public land

When a seasonal Prohibited Period is declared, usually during the warmer months, the restrictions described above for state forest, national park and protected public land also apply to private land within 1.5km of public land in parts of Gippsland and North-east Victoria, unless noted otherwise.

Fire restrictions - prohibited period dates and locations

Restrictions apply to burning off on private land in Victoria.  These restrictions are important to reduce the chance of a bushfire that could result in loss of life and property and are actively enforced.

You should monitor all available media to be aware of Total Fire Ban days and Seasonal Prohibited Periods and take appropriate action.

This page is a guide only. More detail on requirements can be found in the relevant legislation or regulations.

For assistance or further information, please contact us.

Note: burning off on State forest, national park and protected public land is our responsibility.

On Total Fire Ban days

On Total Fire Ban days, burning off is banned, therefore not permitted anywhere. Any Authority to Burn (permit) is automatically suspended - this is specified in the conditions on the Authority to Burn.

Seasonal – permits required

During the seasonal Prohibited Period fire restrictions under the Forests (Fire Protection) Regulations 2014 are in force.

They apply over private land within 1.5 kilometres of public land (see definition at fire restrictions and regulations) in the following municipalities:

  • Gippsland – Baw Baw Shire, East Gippsland Shire, Latrobe City, Wellington Shire
  • North East Victoria – Alpine Shire, Benalla Rural City, Indigo Shire, Mansfield Shire, Mitchell Shire, Murrindindi Shire, Strathbogie Shire, Towong Shire, Wangaratta Rural City, Wodonga City
  • Alpine Resorts – Falls Creek, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham.

In other areas the CFA and municipal councils may also have restrictions in place.

To burn off on private land when and where the seasonal Prohibited Period applies, you will need to apply for an authority (permit) to burn.

See your local DELWP office for further information.

An authority to burn will specify certain conditions that you must comply with, such as:

  • width of fuel breaks
  • time and days of lighting and extinguishment
  • supervision
  • reporting.

Any authority to burn is automatically suspended on:

  • a day of Total Fire Ban and
  • certain other days.
Outside the Seasonal Prohibited Period

Outside of the seasonal Prohibited Period, we do not impose conditions on burning off on private land. You are, however, still responsible for the safety and liability of your fire, and any damages or consequences caused by the fire or fire escape.

The CFA and municipal councils may also have restrictions in place.

This page discusses fire restrictions and permits/authorisations relating to various commercial activities including use of machinery and equipment, and apiary, as well as for entertainment, religious or cultural purposes.

For any other specific uses or purposes not found on this page, or if you have any questions, please contact us.

This page is a guide only. More detail on requirements can be found in the relevant legislation or regulations.

General advice about fire restrictions

Fire restrictions apply to many commercial, industrial and cultural activities. These restrictions are important to reduce the chance of a bushfire that could result in loss of life and property. Fire restrictions are actively enforced.

Sparks from equipment (such as welders, grinders, soldering irons, gas cutters) and machinery (tractors, slashers, chainsaws) can cause bushfires. On days of high fire danger be aware of the risks your machinery and equipment can cause. Ensure that you and your staff follow the fire regulations and safety precautions.

Compliance with regulations does not relieve a person of all responsibility for bushfires caused by that person's equipment and machinery. It is always essential to take precautions to prevent fires.

Avoid working when weather is hazardous e.g. strong - dry wind, and warm to hot temperatures. Remember - any equipment and machinery that generates heat or sparks is a fire hazard and must be used with extreme care.

You should monitor all available media to be aware of Total Fire Ban days and prohibited periods and take appropriate action.

On Code Red fire danger rating days

Code Red fire danger is declared by fire ban district or the whole state. State forests and national parks are closed on Code Red days, and no activities should be undertaken.

Read more about Public safety on public land on Code Red days.

On Total Fire Ban days

Total Fire Ban days are declared by fire ban district or the whole state.

More information about Total Fire Bans

Many activities are not permitted on Total Fire Ban days. Permits may be required for necessary commercial activities and equipment use including:

  • Welding, cutting and/or grinding
  • Heating and spreading of bitumen and like substances
  • Use of blow lamps or gas torches
  • Use of a safety fuse in blasting operations
  • Use of emergency flares at civil and military aerodromes
  • Use of a flare at a petroleum fractionation plant, a gas plant or any plant of a like nature
  • Industrial heat testing
  • Use of fire for loading, unloading or working bees (apiarists)
  • Use of a fire in the open air on a day of Total Fire Ban for the cooking of food by a caterer
  • Light a fire for the purpose of Public Entertainment (e.g. fireworks)
  • Sawmill waste and refuse burners
  • Use of LPG burners for Hot Air Ballooning.

Permits contain conditions that must be followed. Use the following form to apply for a permit to use fire in the open air on a day of total fire ban in the fire protected area of Victoria:

Total Fire Ban Permit Application Form (PDF, 90.2 KB)

At all other times

Fire restrictions apply at all other times on state forest, national park and on protected public land for stationary engines, non-stationary engines, welding, grinding, soldering, gas cutting, sawmills, commercial operations, apiary, safety fuses, fuse lighting and splitting guns (refer to relevant section below).

Stationary engines

A motor driven pump, generator or other stationary engine can be used in the open air or in a temporary structure or in any circumstances where the exhaust discharges in the open air, only under the following conditions:

  • the exhaust pipe is fitted with a spark arrestor which is in proper working order and which complies with AS 1019-2000 and
  • the space immediately around and above the engine is clear of all flammable material for a distance of at least 1.5 metres and
  • in circumstances where the weather conditions in the area are such that there is a reasonable possibility of the spread of fire there is available for immediate use:
    • reticulated water supply or
    • a knapsack water spray pump fully charged with at least 9 litres of water (it must be in proper working order and comply with AS 1687-1991) or
    • a dry chemical fire extinguisher that is in proper working order and that complies with AS/NZS 1841.1:1997 and AS/NZS 1841.5:1997.
Non-stationary engines

The use of machinery such as tractors, slashers or chainsaws should be postponed if possible, as the risk of starting a fire is extremely high.

If you intend to use a chain saw, vehicle or other non-stationary engine so that it is in contact with any crop, stubble, weeds, undergrowth or other vegetation you must:

  • check that the machinery has:
    • a spark arrester (approved by Standards Australia) and it is free of mechanical defects that could start a fire; or
    • a turbo charger or an exhaust aspirated air cleaner.
  • have water at hand, being:
    • a reticulated water supply or
    • a knapsack water spray pump fully charged with at least 9 litres of water (it must be in proper working order and comply with As 1687-1991) or
    • a dry chemical fire extinguisher that is in proper working order and that complies with AS/NZS 1841.1:1997 and AS/NZS 1841.5:1997.
Welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting equipment

When carrying out welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting, you must:

  • place a shield or guard of fire resistant material to prevent emission of sparks, hot pieces of metal or slag from where you are working
  • keep the space immediately around and above the appliance clear of all flammable material for a distance of at least 3 metres
  • place all cut-offs, electrode stubs and hot materials from the operation directly in a fireproof receptacle
  • have water at hand, being:
    • a reticulated water supply or
    • a knapsack water spray pump fully charged with at least 9 litres of water (it must be in proper working order and comply with As 1687-1991) or
    • a dry chemical fire extinguisher that is in proper working order and that complies with AS/NZS 1841.1:1997 and AS/NZS 1841.5:1997.
Apiary

Lighting, kindling, maintaining or using a fire in the open air for the purpose of extracting honey or relocating bees is permitted provided that the person in charge:

  • uses a smoker which is placed on an area of ground which is clear of all flammable material for a distance of 1.5 metres and
  • the smoker is placed in a fireproof receptacle when not in use and
  • in circumstances where the weather conditions in the area are such that there is a reasonable possibility of the spread of fire, there is available for immediate use at least
    • a knapsack spray pump with a tank capacity of not less than 9 litres which is fully charged with water, is in proper working order and complies with AS 1687–1991 and
    • a rake, hoe or similar implement capable of removing grass, shrubs, vegetation and other flammable material from the area of the fire.
Safety fuse, fuse lighters or splitting guns

An authorisation (permit) is required to use a safety fuse, fuse lighter or splitting gun in a fire protected area during the months of November, December, January, February, March or April at any time other than between sunrise and 9.30 am.

Contact your local DELWP office to apply.