With the weather cooling down, locals are being reminded to check regulations before enjoying their warm fire pit or bonfire.
Gunnedah Shire Council reports that this is following a recent increase in reports of smoke pollution.
Backyard burning and the incineration of waste are prohibited throughout the shire, though there are some exceptions in areas where no domestic waste collection service is available.
Where backyard burning is prohibited, there are some situations where fires can still be lit outside in NSW. These include:
- Barbecues or camping,
- Eligible hazard reduction work,
- Certain agricultural purposes, and
- Authorised fire-fighting training.
The council's coordinator of regulatory services Wade Berryman said the council's Burning of Vegetation Policy sets out safe practices for backyard burning to help protect resident's health and the environment.
"Backyard barbeques and toasting marshmallows on the fire pit are still allowed, but it is important to operate them in the correct way. Using only dry wood and starting the fire with small kindling will help reduce excessive smoke," Mr Berryman said.
"Burning household rubbish and green waste should be avoided, unless you live in an area where there is no waste collection service.
"Smoke pollution can cause health effects for both you and your neighbours. These effects may include itchy or burning eyes, throat irritations and other more serious conditions.
"People are sometimes unaware that their activities are causing a nuisance, so please check the regulations before going ahead with a burn to ensure it is being conducted safely and won't attract penalties or fines."
To obtain a fire permit or report an issue with smoke pollution, visit www.gunnedah.nsw.gov.au or phone the council on (02) 6740 2100.