Total Fire Ban Information

Extreme fire danger is caused by a combination of dry vegetation and hot, windy weather !

Further information on exemptions to Total Fire Bans is available from the NSW RFS Website Publications Area >> Click Here For Details

Can I use a Gas or Electric BBQ?

You may use a gas or electric barbeque, but only if:

  • it is on a residential property within 20m of the house or dwelling
  • if it is a picnic area and the appliance is approved by council, National Park or State Forest
  • it is under the direct control of an adult
  • the ground within 2m of the barbecue is cleared of all materials which could burn
  • you have an immediate and continuous supply of water available.

When is a Total Fire Ban declared?

For public safety, a Total Fire Ban is declared for days when fires are likely to escape and be difficult to contain. Extreme fire danger is caused by a combination of dry vegetation and hot, dry, windy weather.

The Bureau of Meteorology provides advice on forecast weather conditions and fire danger ratings during the Bushfire Danger Period.

The RFS Commissioner declares Total Fire Bans based on this advice and other information. This decision is generally made at around 5pm each afternoon during the Bushfire Danger Period and the Total Fire Ban applies for the following day, starting from midnight and lasting 24 hours.

The RFS Commissioner is also responsible for exemptions to Total Fire Bans. A range of activities may be exempt from Total Fire Bans, such as emergency infrastructure work or ceremonial fires. These are detailed in the NSW Government Gazette each time a ban is declared.

How will you know if a Total Fire Ban is declared?

Check the RFS website Current Fire Danger Map or call 1800 NSW RFS (1800 679 737), or the local RFS Fire Control Centre. Announcements are also made in newspapers, on the radio and on television.

You must know what NSW Fire Area you are in to determine if a Total Fire Ban applies to you. You can check this on the Current Fire Danger Map. You just need to know the name of the Council, then click on the area it is in. The name of the Council will appear on the right hand side of the map underneath the name of the NSW Fire Area it is in.You can then check if a Total Fire Ban applies by:

What are NSW Fire Areas?

Since August 2004 a new process for declaring Total Fire Bans and delivering fire weather information has been used. The declarations were previously based on Bureau of Meteorology Weather Forecast Districts. Declarations are now based on NSW Fire Areas. NSW Fire Areas are smaller and based on local government area boundaries.

This means fire weather information and Total Fire Bans are more specific to local conditions. To find out what NSW Fire Area you are in, check the fire danger map on this website.

Fines and penalties

Lighting a fire on a day of Total Fire Ban attracts a fine of up to $5,500 and/or 12 months gaol. Penalties for a fire that escapes and damages or destroys life, property or the environment can attract much greater fines and gaol terms with maximums at $100,000 and/or 14 years. 

Civil law suits can also be brought against the person responsible for a fire by those seeking compensation for losses sustained For public safety, a Total Fire Ban is declared for days when fires are likely to escape and be difficult to contain.

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