Burning off

Burning off on your property is a serious activity that must be taken seriously. Being prepared to burn off includes:

  • Have a hose or firefighting equipment on hand for immediate use if necessary;
  • Clear an area of at least 3 metres around the fire of any vegetation or flammable material;
  • Ensure there are sufficient people (at least 1 adult should be always present) to monitor the fire and contain or extinguish the fire if necessary.


If you a burning off within a residential area (such as properties in a General Residential Zone (GRZ) or Rural Living Zone (RLZ) you may need a Schedule 5 – Open Air Burning Permit. These are issued by the Community Safety Team. For more information, please contact the Community Safety team on 5355 0200 or via email locallaws@ararat.vic.gov.au.

(Please note: Schedule 5 permits are not issued during any times of fire restrictions (eg. Fire Danger Period)


When burning off on your property, it is highly recommended that you register your burn-off with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) to ensure that brigades are not called out unnecessarily.


You can register your burn-off:

  • Online (preferred): log onto the Fire Permits Victoria website here, create an account and register your burn-off (providing that the burn-off is to occur 2 hours or more from the time of registration)
  • Phone: call ESTA on 1800 668 511 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) (National Relay Service Users can ring 1300 555 727 and ask for information to be relayed to ESTA via 1800 668 511)


The Fire Danger Period (FDP) restricts the use of fire, however you may be able to obtain a permit to burn during the FDP, such as a Schedule 13 Permit.


‘Schedule 13 permits’


Schedule 13 permits may be issued to burn fine fuel (such as grass, stubble, weeds), and only where there is an essential need to burn during the Fire Danger Period.


Schedule 13 Permits are NO LONGER BEING ISSUED BY ARARAT RURAL CITY COUNCIL, as of July 31st, 2020. Schedule 13 and Schedule 14 permits are ONLY being issued by through the Fire Permits Victoria website or by CFA District 16 for the Ararat Rural City municipality.


Residents can apply for permits through the new Fire Permits Victoria website.


This website can be used to apply for the following permits/notify agencies of activity:

  • Burn offs – Register your burn off (to ESTA) (only outside of Fire Danger Period)
  • Schedule 13 Permits – Permit to Burn (Fine Fuels) (During Fire Danger Period)
  • Schedule 14 Permits – Permit to Burn (Other) (During Fire Danger Period)


Residents will need to create an account (takes only a few minutes) and once the account is verified (residents will be emailed a code to enter within 1-2 minutes of account being created, to be entered onto the Fire Permits Victoria page when requested), they can apply for a permit through the website. These permits can be applied for on almost all internet-capable devices, including computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones (best viewed using Google Chrome)


For residents who do not have access to the Fire Permits Victoria website, they may attend either the CFA District 16 Office (35 Baird Street Ararat) or the Municipal Office (59 Vincent Street Ararat) to pick up a paper copy of the permit, to be submitted to CFA District 16. Residents are encouraged to use the online Fire Permits Victoria system to apply for their Schedule 13 permit to assist agencies with the speed of processing of permit applications.


Timeline for applications to be processed is up to approximately 2 weeks in the busier periods, so please apply for the permit as far in advance as possible to ensure that you obtain a permit BEFORE any burning takes place.  


More information can be found via the CFA’s ‘Can or Can’t I webpage?’