Open air fires and smoke
Smoke from fires can be a nuisance to neighbours and can cause health problems. You may need a permit before you can light a fire.
An excessively smoking wood heater causes air pollution and contains fine particles that can affect people’s lungs. These fine particles can be particularly dangerous to the very young, the elderly and people who have existing respiratory problems.
You cannot light a fire for any reason when there is a declared fire ban or fire emergency.
The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) and Rural Fire Service (RFS) supervise open air fire issues. To check for fire bans in Logan, please visit the Rural Fire Service website.You must get a permit before lighting any fire larger than two metres in any direction. Permits are available for free from your local fire warden.
Fires smaller than two metres in any direction
Reasons you can light small fires are described in our Local Law No. 10 (Public Health) 1999.
For properties under 4000 square metres
Fires that are smaller than two meters in any direction can only be lit if they meet any one of the following conditions:
- it is for cooking food on or in a gas, wood or coal barbeque, hangi or similar device
- it is part of a Boy Scout or Girl Guide activity
- it is for outdoor heating in an enclosed fireplace or similar device and the fire or any burning material does not come out of the fireplace.
The fire must:
- contain only clean, dry, non-toxic and combustible material
- be lit with a match, cigarette lighter, candle, lamp, blow torch or similar device
- not cause a nuisance.
For properties of 4000 square metres or larger
Fires that are smaller than two meters in any direction can only be lit if they meet all of the following conditions:
- the fire has only clean, dry, non-toxic and combustible material burning as fuel
- only one fire is burned on the property at any time
- appropriate fire-fighting equipment are on the property, including water, hoses and pumps
- the fire is lit after 7:00am and put out before 5:00pm on the same day (unless the fire is for cooking food in or on a gas, wood or coal fire barbeque, hangi or similar device; or is for outdoor heating in an enclosed fireplace or similar device and the fire or any burning material does not come out of the fireplace, and the fire does not cause a nuisance)
- the fire is not burning at any time when there is a Queensland Fire Danger Rating at a scale of very high or above
- ashes are wet down when the fire is put out
- the fire is at least 10 metres from any property boundary or building
- the fire is attended at all times by a person who is not a minor.
Investigating reports of fire and smoke nuisance
We investigate reports of fires and smoke causing a nuisance under our Local Law No. 10 (Public Health) 1999.
To report a smoke nuisance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org including as many details about your concern as possible.
Our teams are not fire fighters and will not attend complaints about fire emergencies. For fire emergencies, please call 000. For enquiries about lighting fires, please call 13 74 68.
If we find the fire is causing a nuisance, we will talk to the person lighting the fire first to see if we can fix the issue. If we get more reports of fires at the same property, we will investigate the reports.
For reports of fires on properties, we investigate:
- the size of the fire
- the location of the fire
- the reason for the fire
- whether there is a permit for the fire.
For reports of smoke on properties, we investigate:
- the amount of smoke
- how long the smoke has been a problem
- what type of smoke is burning
- the sensitivity of the environment
- the impact the smoke has had or may have.
If we find that a fire or smoke is a nuisance, we may issue a compliance notice and give a timeframe for the problem to be fixed. We may issue a fine if the person responsible does not comply with the notice.
How you can help to reduce fire and smoke nuisances
- Get a permit before you light a fire bigger that two metres in any direction. The permit is issued by the Rural Fire Service.
- Do not light a fire if there is a fire ban.
- Make sure you have fire-fighting equipment on the property.
- Only burn clean, dry, non-toxic and combustible material that does not cause smoke, avoid wood products such as chipboard as they contain formaldehyde, or treated or painted timber, as the smoke from these products is hazardous to the health of others.
- Don’t burn wet and green vegetation, as it causes excessive smoke, and doesn’t generate as much heat.
- Make sure the fire is at least 10 metres from your neighbour’s boundary or buildings
- Recycle, reuse or compost waste instead of burning it.
- Take large branches or trees to your local tip or transfer station. It’s free to dispose of green waste in Logan.
- Make sure you put the fire out with water when you have finished burning.