Fire prevention and restrictions

Bushfires are a natural part of our environment and can threaten property, infrastructure and people causing unwanted consequences. Bushfire prevention is a year-round responsibility and there are some simple things you can do throughout the year to keep you, your family and your home safe.

Fire danger season & total fire bans

The City of Tea Tree Gully falls into the Adelaide Metropolitan and Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges Fire Ban Districts.

The Fire Danger Season for the Adelaide Metropolitan and Mount Lofty Ranges generally begins each year on 1 December and runs until 30 April, but these dates may be subject to change depending on the current weather conditions. Check the CFS website for the Fire Danger Season dates.

Total Fire Ban days may be declared during the Fire Danger Season or outside of the season. Higher levels of restrictions apply on these days due to a much higher risk often due to high winds and high temperatures.

A map of Fire Ban Districts and associated Fire Ban Days are available here.

You can also contact the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361.

Prepare for a fire

The CFS provides a number of resources to help you prepare your property and your family, help you plan for the bushfire danger season and to develop a Bushfire Survival Plan. Making an informed decision well in advance of a bushfire whether you should stay in your house or go is perhaps the most important decision you and your family can make to protect yourselves. Don’t forget to include your pets and livestock when preparing for a bushfire.

Information on how you can prepare for a fire.

Preparing and maintaining your property is a year-round responsibility.  Reducing the amount of vegetation is a critical part of preparing your property in the lead up to and during the fire danger season. There are limits to what you can clear without permission. Prepare your property for the Fire Danger Season:

  • reduce, remove and maintain vegetation (such as long grass, dead branches and fallen leaves) within 20 metres of your home and 5 metres of any sheds and garages. 
  • mow and maintain any long grass and move bark, mulch, woodpiles and other flammable materials from near your home
  • keep gutters clear of leaves, twigs and debris and screen gutters with metal guards
  • remove hazardous vegetation from around your home and cut back trees and branches overhanging the house (following the native vegetation clearance rules)
  • remove and store combustible mats and outdoor furniture on high risk days and take down hanging baskets that could ignite or blow into windows
  • on larger properties, graze paddocks to reduce fuel load and create a fire break around fence lines
  • have an adequate and reliable independent water supply, not reliant on mains water or mains power.

Fire restrictions - What can I do?

During the Fire Danger Season there are strict controls on the lighting of fires and the use of certain tools in the open. To find out what you can do and what you can’t do during the Fire Danger Season and on a Total Fire Ban day, please refer to the CFS website.

For exceptional or urgent activities, authorised Council officers can issue a permit to undertake an activity that would not be permitted during the Fire Danger Season or on a Total Fire Ban day.

  • Schedule 9 permit: allows activities or fire on days during the Fire Danger Season that are not Total Fire Ban days.
  • Schedule 10 permit: allows for emergency activities or fire on Total Fire Ban days.

Contact Council's Fire Prevention Officer on 8397 7313.

Barbeques and fire risks

During the fire danger season

There are restrictions on the use of barbeques during the fire danger season.  If you are planning to use a solid fuel barbeque such as a Weber, you will need a back-up plan if a Total Fire Ban is declared for the day.

Gas, electric or solid fuel barbeques such as Webers, charcoal rotisseries, wood-fired pizza ovens and smokers that use briquettes, charcoal or timber as the heat source can be used during the Fire Danger Season providing:

  • there is a four metre area, cleared of all flammable vegetation, around and above the barbeque
  • a responsible person who can control the fire is in attendance at all times with water or an extinguisher at hand
  • the barbeque is completely extinguished before leaving the area
  • the wood-fired pizza oven complies with the CFS code of practice

On Total Fire Ban days

The use of wood-fired pizza ovens and solid fuel barbeques is strictly prohibited on Total Fire Ban days. Gas and electric barbeques can be used on Total Fire Ban days if;

  • the barbeque is within 15 metres of domestic or commercial premises, or
  • the gas or electric barbeque is a permanent fixture on a Council reserve or in a caravan park and
  • there is a 4 metre area, cleared of all flammable vegetation, around and above the barbeque
  • a responsible person who can control the fire is in attendance at all times with water or an extinguisher at hand
  • the barbeque is completely extinguished before leaving the area.

Rural properties

Under The Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 (Section 105F) owners of private land are responsible for all fire prevention practices to protect property on the land and to prevent or inhibit the outbreak or spread of fire and to minimise the threat to human life . Substantial fines can be imposed for not carrying out that responsibility.

On larger rural properties, fuel or fire breaks have been found to be the most effective method of containing wild fires. You are responsible for ensuring these breaks are created and maintained around the boundaries of your land. it is recommended that a fuel break of at least four metres in width be established and all grass, weeds and other undergrowth within that break be mowed or slashed to a height not exceeding 10cm. In addition to establishing a fire break, it is recommended that you reduce all flammable undergrowth around your dwelling to a nominal distance of 20 metres. Trees that overhang buildings must be lopped or pruned.

On smaller properties it is recommended that you mow or slash all grass, weeds and other undergrowth to a height not exceeding 10cm and maintain the land in that way until the end of the fire danger season.

A formal notice under the Act will be forwarded prior to the Fire Danger Season, and Council's Fire Prevention Officer will carry out an inspection of your property.

Rules have been introduced to better manage native vegetation, seeking to reduce the impact of bushfire. For more information about these changes visit the CFS website.

Suburban properties

The Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 (Section 105F) empowers Council to direct property owners to take immediate action to reduce the risk of fire. Failure to comply with a notice may result in an expiation notice being issued and Council proceeding to remedy the situation, with the cost being passed onto the property owner.

Burning in the open and permits

Outside the fire danger season

Between 1 May and 30 November residents who live in a high fire risk area can apply for a permit to burn agriculture or forestry waste, to prepare food or beverages, for domestic heating, or for fire prevention or control.

apply for a permit to burn outside the fire danger season

Outdoor heating and cooking(PDF, 1MB)

Laws for burning in the open(PDF, 691KB)

During the Fire Danger Season

Activities such as using gas appliances for cooking, electric welders and angle grinders and fire for cooking and personal comfort are permitted provided strict conditions are complied with.

Above ground fires, such as chiminea, fire drums, braziers are only permitted with the use of permits issued by authorised Council officers and compliance with conditions.  Find out more 

  • Schedule 9 permit: allows activities or fire on days during the Fire Danger Season that are not Total Fire Ban days.
  • Schedule 10 permit: allows for emergency activities or fire on Total Fire Ban days.

Wood Fire Pizza Ovens located outside require a Schedule 10 permit and are OK to use if located inside (fully enclosed four walls and a roof, with spark arrester)
CFS Wood Pizza Oven Fact Sheet(PDF, 353KB)
CFS Code of Practice - Wood fired Pizza Ovens(PDF, 289KB)

apply for a permit to burn during the fire danger season

Contact Council's Fire Prevention Officer on 8397 7313.

Please see the CFS website for further information on fire bans and ratings.

Council services on fire danger days

On days where a severe, extreme or catastrophic fire risk has been declared, some Council services may be affected. Council will advise the community on any impacts to services.

Disasters and emergencies

For more information about disasters and emergencies please refer to Council’s website