Burn Program

Council staff member in fire suit in process of small bush burn

Sutherland Shire Council is undertaking a burn program to complement hazard reduction burns carried out by other agencies like the Rural Fire Service (RFS), Fire Rescue NSW (FRNSW) and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Council undertook its first trial hazard reduction burn in December 2020 at Australia Road Reserve, Barden Ridge. Council is now planning to roll out a burn program to conduct small hazard reduction burns in Council reserves that will help keep the community safe and maintain our bushland biodiversity. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Council working with other agencies to conduct its burning program?

Sutherland Shire Council is working closely with fire emergency services and land and environment protection agencies to safely carry out its burning program. This was demonstrated in Council’s first hazard reduction burn at Australia Road Reserve, Barden Ridge in December 2020 with the support of RFS and FRNSW.

By working closely with organisations such as Rural Fire Service, Fire Rescue NSW and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Council’s burning program will compliment hazard reduction burns undertaken in the Sutherland Shire by these organisations.

What are the benefits of small-scale burns?

Small, ‘cool’ burns reduce bush fire ‘fuel’, maintain habitat for flora and fauna, protect biodiversity and encourage natural regeneration.

Small-scale burns will be important in managing weeds in our bushland reserves. Council is integrating weed control with our burns to promote a more cost effective and positive environmental outcome. Many Council Bushcare sites will benefit.

How are locations for burning selected?

Bush fire risk to the community is assessed through the Sutherland Shire Bush Fire Management Committee. Burns are prioritised according to their risk level. Hazard reduction burns are then scheduled when weather conditions are deemed suitable and resources are available. Residents are requested not to contact Council to request burns at their local reserve.

Where is the next burn going to be conducted?

It is not possible to provide dates for future burns, as burns may be cancelled close to anticipated commencement due to variable conditions. Residents that live adjacent to reserves that are to be impacted will be notified by letterbox drop prior to the burn.

How can I help make sure impacted areas regenerate?

Following a burn, residents can assist natural regeneration by keeping to existing tracks and not dumping grass clippings or garden waste that will promote weed growth.

How does this program relate to cultural burning/cool burning?

Council recognises that fire has been used by the Dharawal people, the traditional custodians of the land of Sutherland Shire, for thousands of years as a land management tool and we are following their lead.

Fire is an important component of the Australian landscape and is essential in maintaining biodiversity and habitat for our flora and fauna. Consideration is given to threatened species such as powerful owls, flying foxes and endangered plants to ensure the best time of year for burning, which is also in keeping with traditional burning practices.

What should I do if I see smoke?

If you see smoke and are concerned, check the Fires Near Me App or the RFS website for information. Up-to-date information regarding bush fires and hazard reduction burns are posted and displayed on the app.

Where can I find more information?

Contact our Natural Areas team in Asset Services via 9710 0333, or email ssc@ssc.nsw.gov.au for more information.

More information



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