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Respect the forest this spring firewood season

Article Category  Ag and Environment
Date Published  Thursday 29th August 2019
Photo  File Photo

Respect the forest this spring firewood season
The Spring Firewood Collection season starts on Sunday and lasts for three months, and officials are urging people to respect our forests while collecting firewood.

Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer Tony English said that legal collection of firewood from designated areas on public land begins on Sunday 1st September 2019.

“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,” Mr English said.

“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.”

He also said that it is important that people observe the collection limits that are in place.

“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.”

Zero tolerance
Mr English said that they have a zero-tolerance approach to anyone breaking firewood collection laws.

Authorised officers will patrol parks, forests and reserves to ensure people are doing the right thing while collecting their firewood.

“Firewood is a shared public resource that provides a range of environmental values including land protection, waterway health and habitats for native wildlife, and needs to be managed in a sustainable way for the future.”

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.

The Spring Firewood Collection Season for 2019 starts across Victoria on Sunday 1st September and closes on Saturday 30th November.

More information and updates, including interactive maps showing designated collection areas, will be available on www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood from 1st September, or you can call 136 186. Illegal or suspicious behaviour can also be reported to DELWP on this number.

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