The Autumn Firewood Collection Season for 2020 starts across Victoria on Sunday 1 March and closes on Tuesday 30 June.
Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer Grampians Region, Tony English said: “Legal collection of firewood from designated areas on public land begins 1 March 2020.”
“In some locations, areas will remain closed due to ongoing fire activity, hazardous trees or where it may otherwise be unsafe for people to collect firewood,” Mr English said.
“More information and updates, including interactive maps showing designated collection areas will be available on www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood from 1 March.
“We want to remind the public that firewood can only be taken from designated collection areas in state forests or parks during approved times and for personal use only, and cannot be sold.
“It’s important that people only collect firewood from designated collection areas in State forests where collection is allowed, and to stay within collection limits. These designated collection areas are put in place to protect sites of cultural and environmental significance.
“It is important to stay within collection limits, which are in place to prevent households stockpiling large volumes of firewood from public land and denying others a supply.
Collection limits include taking a maximum of two cubic metres per person per day and a maximum of 16 cubic metres per household per financial year.
“The felling of trees and cutting downed hollow logs for firewood is also prohibited. Authorised officers will be patrolling parks, forests and reserves to ensure people are doing the right thing while collecting their firewood.
“We take a zero-tolerance approach to illegal firewood collection, given the negative impacts it has on forest health, wildlife habitat, public safety and the sustainability of firewood resources that local communities rely on. Most people follow the rules, however, it’s important for anyone collecting firewood on public land to be aware of where, when and what firewood can be collected to avoid signficant penalties”.
If there is a fire danger risk the firewood collection season may be shortened. Firewood collection areas near planned burns may close for public safety. It’s important that to check where burns are happening as affected firewood collection areas may be closed at short notice. Go to www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood or call 136 186.
Under the Forest Act 1958, people who collect firewood outside designated collection areas or season or take more than the maximum allowable amounts can face fines of up to $8,261, or a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment or both, if the matter proceeded to Court.
For any further information on firewood collection or to report illegal or suspicious behaviour in public land areas, please contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186.