Firewood collection starts soon

Firewood collection starts soon

The 2019 autumn firewood collection season opens in East Gippsland on Friday, March 1, and closes on Sunday, June 30.

“It’s important that people only collect firewood from designated firewood collection areas on public land and stay within collection limits,” Gippsland’s assistant chief fire officer, Beth Roberts, said.

“Interactive maps showing where you can collect domestic firewood from will go live from March 1 when the season gets underway.

“Designated collection areas are put in place to protect sites of cultural and environmental significance.

“The felling of any trees for firewood is strictly prohibited. Authorised officers will be patrolling parks, forests and reserves to ensure people are doing the right thing while collecting their firewood.

“We’re reminding people to stay within collection limits, which are a maximum of two cubic metres per person per day and a maximum of 16 cubic metres per household per financial year.

“Some households rely on domestic firewood for winter energy, so it’s important to consider others when collecting firewood from state forests.

“Be sure to check local weather and forest conditions before heading out to make sure it’s safe before collecting firewood in your area.

“Some previously available firewood collection areas that have been affected by recent fires may be closed at the start of the season while rehabilitation and dangerous tree work is completed. Other sites may be part of the autumn planned burning program, so it’s a good idea to check where burns are happening as these areas may be closed at short notice.”

More information including rules, updates and interactive maps showing designated collection areas is available from the Forest Fire Management website.

Under the Forest Act 1958, people who collect firewood outside designated firewood collection areas or a firewood collection season or take more than the maximum allowable amounts can face fines of up to $7928, or a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment or both, if the matter proceeded to court.