Air pollution

Check air quality

The  NSW Air Quality Index at Environment NSW website is updated every hour with new statistics.

The Bureau of Meteorology website also provides air quality warnings in its forecasts.

Open burning

Burning in the open in NSW is regulated by the Protection of the Environment (Clean Air) Regulation 2010 and the burning of any vegetation or anything else, in the open or in an incinerator, is prohibited at all times in Ku-ring-gai.

It is permitted to light a fire for cooking outside as long as you use dry seasoned wood, LPG, natural gas or barbecue coals. However, if there is a total fire ban is in place, no cooking on open fires is permitted with the exception of gas powered BBQs on your property.

Permits are issued for some types of fires such as for bush fire hazard reduction. Contact the NSW Rural Fire Service RFS or NSW Environment Protection Authority EPA for more information regarding such approvals and restrictions.

Contact us if you see prohibited backyard burning in Ku-ring-gai.


If you have a wood heater ensure that it is installed to comply with the emission standards of Australian Standard AS4013:2014.

Wood smoke from wood heaters and fireplaces can be minimised by taking the following actions:

  • Clean your chimney every year.
  • Use only dry, aged and untreated wood. Unseasoned wood has lots of moisture which causes a fire to smoke. Never burn rubbish, drift wood or painted or treated wood.
  • Store your wood in a dry well-ventilated area. Freshly cut wood needs to be stored for at least 8-12 months.
  • Use small logs instead of one large one. Stack the logs loosely so that air can circulate.
  • When lighting a cold heater, use plenty of dry kindling to establish a good fire quickly.
  • Keep enough air in the fire to maintain a flame. The fire should only smoke when its first lit and when adding new logs. Ensure the air control is fully open for five minutes before and 15-20 minutes after adding logs.
  • Don’t let the fire smoulder overnight.

Consider a cleaner heating method - Heating and cooling Net Zero Ku-ring-gai.


Talking to your neighbour

Before taking formal steps to complain about wood smoke you should attempt to contact your neighbour to discuss the concern as they might not realise there is a problem. If you have tried and can’t resolve a wood smoke problem directly with your neighbour, contact us.

Motor vehicles

The NSW Environment Protection Authority has a smoky vehicle enforcement program to reduce vehicle emissions by ensuring owners property maintain their vehicles.

A smoky vehicle is any motor vehicle that emits visible smoke continuously for over 10 seconds. More detailed information and on reporting forms is available on the NSW EPA website.