Recreation fire safety


If you are holidaying, having a party or experiencing the great outdoors during your holidays or leisure time, stay safe and brush up on

bushfire safety information.

Cooking fire safety

You can have a fire for heating or cooking purposes provided that the fire is:

  • On public land and in a permanently constructed fireplace
  • On private land and the fire is contained in a fireplace, pit, drum or brazier
  • Surrounded by ground that is cleared of all combustible materials for a distance of min. two metres all around
  • Not lit on a declared total fire ban day and that you check the expected weather conditions
  • Completely extinguished before leaving
  • Contained and controlled within the specified area
  • Free of toxic materials, such as rubber tyres, plastics and paint
  • Not causing an air pollution problem by producing excessive amounts of smoke
  • Not bigger than 1m x 1m
  • Accessible to a constant water supply

It is also advisable that you let your neighbours know prior to lighting. 

All other burning of vegetation (authorised hazard reduction works exempt) is prohibited in Ku-ring-gai under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010.

Bushfire safety for bushwalkers

Planning on going for a bushwalk in Ku-ring-gai? Know what to check before you go and what to do if caught in a fire.

Before bushwalking you should check:

  • Fire danger ratings and bush fire alerts
  • Weather conditions
  • Whether a Total Fire Ban or a National Park Fire Ban is in place

Learn more on what you should consider when travelling in a bushfire prone area

Council may close bushland reserves and facilities if extreme or catastrophic fire weather is declared or if a Total Fire Ban is in place. We recommend people avoid using tracks and trails in these conditions. Check Council’s website for any closure details. Please note that camp fires are not permitted in Council bushland reserves.

If caught in a fire:

  • Call 000
  • Don’t panic or try outrun the fire
  • Find a cleared area. Look for rocks, hollows, embankments, streams or roads to protect you
  • Head to lower ground, avoid going uphill and do not shelter in water tanks
  • Keep low and cover your skin
  • Drink water and cover your mouth with a damp cloth
  • Move to burnt ground when the fire has passed

Fire danger ratings

Fire danger ratings are based on predicted weather conditions and recent rainfall and are provided daily by the NSW Rural Fire Service to give an indication of the potential consequences of a bush fire, if one were to start. Fire Danger Ratings should be used as a trigger for action in your Bush Fire Survival Plan and to assess the safety of outdoor activities like bushwalking, camping and barbecuing.

Check the fire danger rating for your area.

Total fire bans

On days of particularly high fire danger the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a Total Fire Ban, during which the following conditions apply:

  • All fire permits are suspended
  • General purpose welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting works cannot be carried out in the open
  • No fire may be lit in the open (this includes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, eg wood or charcoal)

The use of gas or electric barbecues is permitted during a total fire ban, but only if:

  • It is under the direct control of a responsible adult who is present at all times while it is operating
  • No combustible material is allowed within two metres of the barbecue at any time it is operating
  • You have an immediate and continuous supply of water
  • The barbecue is within 20 metres of a permanent private dwelling such as a home
  • The barbecue is within a designated picnic area and the appliance is approved by Council, National Parks or State Forest.

Check to see if a Total Fire Ban has been declared.

Contact us

For advice on bushfire risks or to report a bush fire hazard, please contact Council on 9424 0000 or the Hornsby Ku-ring Fire Control Centre on 9883 2000.