Fall firewood collection period open

THE fall firewood collection period is now open, with designated firewood collection areas in Gippsland accessible to the public.

An increased amount of firewood is available this season after extensive clearing and bushfire preparedness work by Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews.

The fall firewood collection period runs from March 1 to June 30 and there are 79 designated collection areas open to the public in the Gippsland region.

FFMVic Gippsland forest and fire planning director Peter West said the extra volume would help meet growing demand.

“The bushfire preparedness work that has been done in Gippsland means there is additional wood available, but it is still a limited resource,” he said.

“The collection limits include the removal of a maximum of two cubic meters per person per day and a maximum of 16 cubic meters per household per fiscal year. The wood collected is intended for personal use and must not be sold.

“The felling of trees and the cutting of hollow logs for firewood are also prohibited. Hollow logs and dead trees provide critical habitat for a wide variety of native species.

Planned burns could impact firewood collection this fall, with FFMVic likely to close some collection areas at short notice, particularly in East Gippsland. Closures will be notified on site. You can also contact your local Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) office, call 1316 186 or go to planningburns.ffm.vic.gov.au.

Mr West also urged people to consider alternatives to wood fires for heating and cooking.

“Firewood is an unpredictable resource. We strongly encourage people who depend on firewood to plan their needs and explore all energy options. »

Financial assistance is available for low-income people who buy firewood. Go to ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood/energy-concession-and-support.

Under the Forests Act 1958, persons who collect firewood outside designated firewood collection areas or a firewood collection season or who take more than the maximum permitted amounts may be subject to fines of $727, or a maximum penalty of one year in prison or a fine of up to $9,087 or both, if the matter goes to court.

For more information, including maps and updates throughout the season, go to ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood Where planningburns.ffm.vic.gov.au for the latest information on planned burns.

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