News

Firewood available

By Country News

The autumn firewood collection season for 2018 starts across Victoria on Thursday, March 1, and closes on June30.

Hume assistant chief fire officer Gill Metz reminded people it would once again be legal to collect firewood from designated areas on public land during the above dates.

‘‘More information and updates, including interactive maps showing designated collection areas, will be available on www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood from March 1, or you can call 136186 to find out more,’’ Mr Metz said.

‘‘DELWP and Parks Victoria staff will be patrolling parks, forests and reserves to make sure people are doing the right thing while collecting their firewood.

‘‘It’s important that people only collect firewood from designated collection areas in state forests or parks where collection is allowed, and to stay within collection limits.

‘‘This includes taking a maximum of two cubic metres per person per day and a maximum of 16 cubic metres per household per financial year. This is to prevent households stockpiling large volumes of firewood from public land and denying others a supply.’’

The felling of any trees for firewood is prohibited.

The amount of domestic firewood available across Victoria varies and some households rely on firewood for winter energy, so people need to consider others when taking firewood.

‘‘Some firewood collection areas may be part of the autumn planned burning program, so it’s important that you check where burns are happening as affected firewood collection areas may be closed at short notice,’’ Mr Metz said.

‘‘Go to www.ffm.vicvic.gov.au/planned burn, download the VicEmergency app or call 1800 226 226.’’

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 could face an infringement notice of $634, or a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to $7928 or both, if the matter proceeded to court.

■Any information about the illegal removal of firewood for sale can be reported to DELWP on 136 186.