Christmas Fire Bans: BBQs and cooking

The South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) and South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) are preparing to be Grinches this Christmas, with high fire danger conditions forecast for the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day period.

If, as forecasts currently suggest, a Total Fire Ban is declared for your district, the use of wood and solid fuel barbecues (ie. charcoal Weber) and camp fires is banned.

South Australians are encouraged to plan their Christmas activities accordingly.

Fire bans and fire danger ratings are announced (after 4pm) for the following day. They are available on the CFS website, its phone app and social media.

Leigh Miller, State Coordinator, CFS, said, "This year, forecasts are predicting hot and potentially very windy conditions, which means there is a strong likelihood of Total Fire Bans being declared. It might be a good option to go for a cold lunch instead. I’m really hoping our CFS volunteers will be able to stay at home with their families this Christmas."

Over 1000 call outs to cooking related fires have occurred across South Australia during the last three years for Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) and Country Fire Service (CFS) firefighters. 

Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Peter Mason said, "Fires can and do start very easily on Christmas Day. Every year we see fires starting from barbecues and ovens which destroy homes—including holiday homes."

Use of barbecues and camp fires during a Total Fire Ban

All solid fuel (wood, charcoal etc) BBQs are banned on Total Fire Ban days.
All camp fires are banned on Total Fire Ban days.
Gas or electric barbecues may be used, provided that: 

  • they are within 15 metres of a domestic premises; or,
  • on a coastal shore.


  • you have a four metre cleared area around and above the barbecue; and,
  • a responsible person is in attendance at all times with water or an extinguisher at hand.

A permit to use charcoal barbecues or other wood fuels during a total fire ban can be sought from your local council. Applications can take some time to process and necessitate inspection of your premises for compliance with vegetation clearance and hazard reduction requirements.

Visit the CFS website provides lots of useful information to help you plan and prepare for fire danger this summer.

Click here to download the CFS Fact Sheet for Campfires and Barbeques.