Community information

Introduction to Fire Restrictions & Fire Danger Season Dates
Bureau of Meteorology (current fire ban status)
CFS Fire Bans Hotline
Total Fire Bans Explained
Barbecues & Campfires on Fire Ban Days
Burning Rubbish & the Use of Incinerators
Permits (to light fires during the fire ban season)
Using Machinery & Other Tools During the Fire Danger Season
National Parks Reserves
Forest Reserves
Bushfire Emergency Warnings - Use of Media
How To Survive in a House Threatened During a Bushfire

Introduction to Fire Restrictions & Fire Danger Season Dates:

During The Fire Danger Season fire restrictions apply throughout the whole State including metropolitan Adelaide.

Exact dates of the Fire Danger Season for each district are shown in the table below. Fire Ban District maps and information are available from your local council and most CFS Regional Offices or your local CFS Brigade.

During this period you must apply for a permit to use fire outdoors at any time. There are some exceptions, notably barbecues, campfires, incinerators and some industrial processes such as gas and electric welding.

If you have and doubt about lighting any fire during the Fire Danger Season use the CFS Fire Bans Hotline to seek advice.

The penalties for illegally lighting a fire are very severe. You face the possibility of incurring a fine of up to $8,000 or imprisonment for up to two (2) years.


These dates may change due to seasonal conditions,
seek advice from the CFS Hotline on: 1300 362 361

This covers both Metro and Country areas.

South Australian
Fire Ban Districts
2001 - 2002
Fire Danger Seasons
North West Pastoral 1 November - 31 March
North East Pastoral 1 November - 31 March
Flinders 1 November - 15 April
West Coast 1 November - 15 April
Eastern Eyre Peninsula 1 November - 15 April
Lower Eyre Peninsula 1 November - 15 April
Riverland 15 November - 15 April
Murraylands 15 November - 15 April
Yorke Peninsula 15 November - 30 April
Mid North 15 November - 30 April
Upper South East 15 November - 15 April
Lower South East 22 November - 30 April
Kangaroo Island 1 December - 30 April
Mount Lofty Ranges 1 December - 30 April
Adelaide Metropolitan
(See below for details).
1 December - 30 April


The Adelaide district (formerly Inner Adelaide) has expanded because of growing communities and altered land use.

CFS Policy Officer Des Packer said the creation of the Adelaide fire ban area allowed people to continue day to day activities without unnecessary restrictions.

"This should lead to a reduction in fire bans in some suburbs and more accurately reflect the risk to residents," Mr Packer said.

The Adelaide Metropolitan fire ban district includes the cities of:

  • Adelaide
  • Charles Sturt
  • Enfield
  • Holdfast Bay
  • Marion
  • Norwood
  • Payneham and St Peters
  • Port Adelaide
  • Prospect
  • Unley
  • Walkerville Corporation
  • West Torrens

Parts of the cities of:

  • Burnside
  • Campbelltown
  • Mitcham
  • Playford
  • Salisbury
  • Tea Tree Gully


Link to the Bureau of Meteorology:

Click on the logo below, for a link to the Bureau of Meteorology, for information on current fire bans and climate in all states and areas.

CFS Fire Bans Hotline:

Information on fire restrictions and fire bans can be obtained 24 hours per day on the CFS Fire Bans Hotline: 1300 362 361 (Metro and Country areas).

This information is also available from:
SA Metropolitan Fire Service Headquarters on (08) 8223 3033.

Total Fire Bans Explained:

On days when extreme weather conditions (high wind and high temperature) could cause fires to become uncontrollable, Total Fire Bans may be declared in some fire ban districts or even across the whole State.

These bans will apply for 24 hours from midnight to midnight the following day. They are broadcast on radio and television from 6.00pm. If in doubt check on the CFS Fire Bans Hotline.

Be Aware that if extreme weather conditions develop suddenly, a Total Fire Ban could be announced as late as 7.00 am on the morning of the ban.

Total Fire Bans may also be removed at 7.00 am, where weather conditions have moderated considerably.

Both situations would be broadcast on radio and the CFS Fire Bans Hotline.


Barbecues & Campfires on Fire Ban Days:

Throughout the Fire Danger Season if a Total Fire Ban has not been declared, you may use any barbecue or campfire for cooking or warmth but there are conditions that you must follow.

The fire must be contained in a barbecue or cooker, a properly constructed fire place or a 30 centimetre deep trench, not more than 1 square metre in area. As well, you must have cleared away all flammable material for a 4 metre space around and above it.

While it is alight you must also stay with the fire and have with you sufficient water or other appropriate extinguishing agent to be able to put the fire out.

On a Total Fire Ban Day: The only fires you can use outside on a Total Fire Ban Day for cooking are gas stoves or kettles, gas barbecues and electric barbecues or stoves. Even these can only be used within 15 metres of a dwelling or on coastal foreshore in a 4 metre cleared area with a responsible person in attendance at all times and water or other extinguishing agent on hand. All campfires are banned.

Some Councils also allow gas or electric barbecues to be used in caravan parks or cleared picnic areas on Total Fire Ban Days. Look for the signs or notice boards, or contact the Council office for advice.

Burning Rubbish & the Use of Incinerators:

Burning rubbish, grass cuttimgs or clippings. A permit is required to burn rubbish or garden refuse on the ground during the Fire Danger Season. Rubbish can be burnt, but only in a properly constructed incinerator.

The area around and above the incinerator must be cleared for 4 metres, and the fire lit only when there is no Total Fire Ban. The incinerator must be attended while it is alight by a person able to control the fire, with enough water available to readily extinguish the fire.

Whenever an incinerator is used, keep all doors or openings closed and keep screens and guards in place.

On Total Fire Ban Days: The lighting of incinerators is banned and they must not be lit during the period of the ban.

Clean Air regulations: The lighting of fires is also governed by the Environment Protection Act.

Some Councils have totally prohibited the use of incinerators and open fires for waste disposal domestic premises. For further information call the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,

Office of the Environment Protection Authority on (08) 8204 2001, or your local council.


Permits (to light fires during the fire ban season):

A permit to light a fire in the Fire Danger Season is required when any burning off is undertaken and when any fire is lit on the ground. In addition, the use of any other fires not covered by exemptions will require the issue of a permit.

The fires which do not require a permit are explained in the preceding section of the booklet and in general terms are fires used for cooking and personal comfort, fires in incinerators, gas fired appliances for cooking purposes, gas or electric welding equipment and gas fires used for other purposes provided they are lit in accordance with the conditions applying to their use.

If in doubt as to the need for a permit - seek advice from you Local Council, Council Fire Prevention Officer or from the CFS Fire Bans Hotline. Your own District Bushfire Prevention Committee has set the conditions which must be adhered to, when lighting a fire under permit.

Obtaining a permit: A permit may be obtained from the local Authorised Officer. Advice as to who these persons are, can be obtained from your Council office. A permit may be requested and issued personally, or over the telephone or radio.

The Authorised Officer will inform you of a permit number and the conditions included in the permit. The Authorised Officer will subsequently send you a copy of the permit. There is simply no excuse for not obtaining a permit if one is required.

The conditions under which the permit is issued must be complied with. These conditions may vary from area to area dependent upon the time of the year and seasonal conditions.

Should there be any difficulty in obtaining a permit, please contact you local Council, nearest Fire Brigade, or your Regional Country Fire Service Office.


Using Machinery & Other Tools During the Fire Danger Season:

Any machine powered by an internal combustion engine when used in the open during the Fire Danger Season may only be operated after taking specific precautions, they can then be used on any day including a Total Fire Ban Day.

Firstly, all engines must have an efficient spark arrester fitted to the exhaust pipe.

Then, if using a tractor, self propelled header, or truck to harvest or transport a flammable crop including hay bales, or spread fertiliser or lime on any property the vehicle must carry a knapsack spray or water extinguisher and a rake or shovel.

If using any form of mower or slasher, a chain saw, brush cutter or edger, you must first have either cleared a four (4) metre area of all flammable material right around the area to be cut, or have on hand a knapsack or water extinguisher and a rake or shovel.

When using a stationary engine, if no-one is present while it is operating, the area around it must be cleared of all flammable material for a distance of four (4) metres. If an operator is present when the engine is in use, they must have available a knapsack or water extinguisher and a rake or shovel.

Welders and other tools: Electric welders, mechanical cutting tools, oxy welders and other gas fired appliances can only be used outdoors when there is no Total Fire Ban in force. Even then there must be the four (4) metre cleared space around them and the operator must have a knapsack or water extinguisher on hand.

If in doubt about operating any equipment that produces heat which may start a fire, seek advice from the CFS Fire Bans Hotline or your Council Fire Prevention Officer.


National Parks Reserves:

The National Parks and Wildlife Service have strict regulations on the use of barbecues and all types of fires in their reserves.

During the Fire Danger Season, fires are only allowed in those reserves which have signs at entrances stating that fires are permitted.

These fires may only be lit in designated areas especially set aside for this purpose.

No fires are permitted in National Parks or Forest Reserves when a Total Fire Ban has been imposed.

A number of National Parks and Wildlife reserves have total bans on the use of wood fires. For your safety and to confirm what types of fires are permitted, contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service Offices under the heading: 'Environment and Natural Resources', in the telephone directory that covers your area.

Forest Reserves:

Primary Industries (SA) has strict regulations on the lighting of fires in Forest Reserves.

No fires - including barbecues and campfires -- are permitted in Forest Reserves during the Fire Danger Season. However under set conditions gas barbecues may be permitted in designated areas in November and April.

During the remainder of the year, barbecues and campfires are permitted in designated picnic and camping areas.


Bushfire Emergency Warnings - Use of the Media:

In the event that a major bushfire should move towards and threaten a township or heavily populated rural area, the Country Fire Service will use local radio and TV stations to warn the public of the danger and provide safety advice.

These will be issued in the form of "Official Bushfire Warnings" -- Phases One to Four.

Will advise that a bushfire is burning in a specified area and moving in a particular direction. It will also advise residents to take precautions to protect life and property.

Will be preceded by a loud warning signal. It will then provide further advice on the movement of the bushfire and areas that are threatened. Residents in those areas will be warned to consider evacuation to a designated safe area if they consider their houses not safe to stay in.

Will also be preceded by the warning signal. It will indicate the locality threatened and advise all persons in that area to seek shelter in their houses and to keep off the roads.

Will broadcast the 'all clear' for residents to return to their properties as the bushfire is under control. Please be aware that these Warnings will be used by the Country Fire Service for major fires only At other times advice is given to local radio stations regularly during the progress of any fire. During the summer have a battery powered radio on hand to monitor these reports.


How To Survive in a House Threatened During a Bushfire:

  • 1. Dress in protective clothing.
  • 2. If you have time, block the downpipes with rags and fill gutters with water.
  • 3. Shut off gas and electricity at the main switches.
  • 4. Close all doors and windows.
  • 5. Block gaps beneath outside doors with wet towels or blankets.
  • 6. Remove window curtains and push all furniture away from windows.
  • 7. Fill all sinks and baths with water and place buckets nearby.
  • 8. Shelter in the part of the house which is furthest from the approaching fire, the coolest and cleanest air is near the floor.
  • 9. The main fire can be expected to pass within five minutes. For the next thirty minutes the house is at greatest risk from small fires which may have just started, or are smouldering in debris.
  • 10. Search for fires - with care. Inspect the house - particularly the roof space to see if any have started.
  • 11. If the house is alight and you cannot extinguish the fire, cover all exposed skin and move onto burnt ground outside.
  • 12. Do not move away from the area; await firefighters so that they know where you are.

The family home should be developed as a refuge from bushfire. However, the very young, the aged, the infirm, those who feel they would not be able to cope with the trauma of a fire and those who have taken insufficient measures to protect their homes, may need to evacuate.

When evacuation is considered appropriate it must be carried out as early as possible in accordance with prior planning.

For further information on evacuation and safety, the Country Fire Service leaflets "Bushfire Evacuation" and "Plan to Survive" are available from:
Local Council Offices, CFS Regional Offices, CFS Headquarters
or the CFS Bushfire Prevention Unit on (08) 8339 6900.



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