Complaints about planned burns

Planned burns are usually undertaken between March and May every year for forest regeneration and property protection, and to maintain biodiversity and reduce the risk posed by bushfires.

To lodge a complaint about smoke impact from planned burns, call 1800 005 171 or lodge a complaint to

Impacts from smoke and planned burns are important to capture as part of the strategy to improve smoke management.

Complaints about wood heaters and backyard burning

Persistent poor air quality from a neighbouring house is not something that has to be tolerated.

Smoke from a poorly operated wood heater can be reduced by as much as 80 per cent by following a few simple steps. When particular care is taken most wood heaters can be operated so that they produce only modest smoke emissions. Modern heaters can be operated so that no visible smoke is emitted at all.

We recommend you take the following steps to resolve issues of excessive wood-smoke from a neighbouring house:

Step one

Often your neighbours will not realise their fire is affecting you. It is best to discuss the problem with them and try to find a solution.

Step two

If you cannot reach an agreement after talking to your neighbour, you can contact an environmental health officer at your local council for advice.

Wood smoke can easily become an environmental nuisance. An environmental nuisance is any emission of a pollutant that may unreasonably interfere with a person's enjoyment of the environment.

Your local council can take action under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Smoke) Regulations 2019, also known as the Smoke Regulations, which are used to regulate domestic wood smoke, e.g. wood heaters and backyard burning, in Tasmania.

The Smoke Regulations state that a person must not burn vegetation or vegetative waste in the open or in an incinerator on land with an area of less 2000 square metres, unless they can demonstrate they have taken “reasonable steps” to prevent or minimise air pollution. This means people need to take into account things like:

  • wind direction and speed
  • weather conditions
  • the length of time that the vegetation or vegetative waste is likely to burn, and
  • the proximity of nearby dwellings

More information on backyard burning

The Smoke Regulations also state that heating appliances for domestic use must comply with Australian Standards AS/NZS 4012:2014 and AS/NZS 4013:2014. Furthermore, there are controls on the emission of smoke from cooking and heating appliances; whereby a cooking or heating appliance means any solid-fuel-burning appliance, including:

  • wood heaters
  • barbeques
  • pizza ovens
  • fire pits
  • fire pots
  • fireplaces

More information on wood-fired heating and cooking

August 2020