Burn Right Tonight and reduce smoke impacts on Canberra’s air quality


To protect both the community’s health and the environment, Canberrans are being reminded on the best ways to use their wood heaters with the launch of this year’s Burn Right Tonight campaign.

“Taking steps to maintain your chimney ahead of the winter period and following up with actions throughout the colder seasons to run your wood heater efficiently can reduce negative impacts on the environment and air quality. Your neighbours will thank you as well,” Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti said.

At the start of every winter, the Burn Right Tonight campaign educates on simple key steps in the efficient use of your wood heater, regardless of its age, including:

  • use dry, well-seasoned, untreated wood bought from a reputable firewood merchant
  • start fires with the air control fully open, using plenty of kindling
  • use smaller logs to maintain a vigorous fire
  • leave the air control open so your fire doesn’t smoulder overnight.

“Smoke from wood heaters is one of the largest sources of air pollution in the ACT, making the maintenance and efficient operation of wood heaters during winter paramount to protecting both the community’s health and the environment.

“Canberrans care deeply about good air quality, so we know that taking measures to educate the community on the correct use of wood heaters is important in continuing to protect the air quality we have come to expect.

“Earlier this year, we worked with the community to better understand attitudes and behaviours of current and former wood heater users, as well as community members. We learnt more about the key motivators in keeping and removing wood heaters and had an opportunity to discuss the support provided through the Wood Heater Replacement Program.

“With these insights, we can scope possible improvements in the financial incentives available to encourage more wood heater owners to make the transition to cleaner more efficient electric options.”

The Wood Heater Replacement Program has different rebates to help you permanently remove your wood heater and replace it with a more efficient, cleaner heater. Incentives range from $250 to remove your wood heater to $1,250 to remove your wood heater and install a ducted electric reverse-cycle system. Learn more on the Everyday Climate Choices website.

The ACT Bushfire Smoke and Air Quality Strategy 2021 – 2025 outlines the ACT Government’s commitment to improve the Wood Heater Replacement Program, strengthen emissions standards for wood heaters, and move towards phasing out older, polluting wood heaters that do not meet clean air standards. 

For more information on how to ‘Burn Right Tonight’, visit the ACT Environment website.