When you can collect firewood
- Firewood can be collected from:
- 1 March to 30 June (Autumn season)
- 1 September to 30 November (Spring season)
- Firewood cannot be collected outside these times to minimise risks to people, the environment and infrastructure during winter and periods of highest fire hazard.
- There are serious penalties for failing to follow firewood collection rules.
- If there is a high fire danger risk, the firewood collection season may be shortened to reduce risk.
- Do not enter the forest on days of Code Red Fire Danger rating.
- Some firewood collection areas may close at short notice due to a planned burning activity.
- New firewood collection areas may also open throughout the season.
What can you collect?
- You can only collect trees that are already on the ground – do not cut down, break off or damage a standing tree or shrub, even if it is dead.
- Do not collect trees that are clearly hollow or if more than half the tree is covered with moss or fungi – these trees are important for the life of the forest.
- Firewood should be as dry as possible for burning, but wood collected from a State forest is often green or wet. This green wood is difficult to light, gives off a lot of smoke and produces less heat. Green wood burns well if it is cut and stored in a dry place for 12 months.
How much you can collect?
- You can collect up to 2 cubic metres per person, per day.
- 1 cubic metre is about a 1.8 metre (6 foot) x 1.2 metre (4 foot) trailer of split firewood, neatly stacked to a height of half a metre (20 inches).
- You cannot collect more than 16 cubic metres per household per financial year (July to June).
- Some households in regional areas rely on firewood for winter energy – please consider others when deciding how much firewood to collect.
Collecting firewood for someone else
If you are unable to collect firewood for domestic use, you can nominate someone to collect firewood on your behalf, by printing and completing this nomination form.
The nominee must carry the completed nomination form while collecting firewood on behalf of another.
Remember, you can only collect firewood for domestic use.
Restrictions on sales of firewood
- Firewood from designated firewood collection areas is for domestic purposes only.
- It is illegal to sell firewood collected from domestic collection areas or to use the wood in a commercial business or enterprise.
Safety and use of chainsaws
- Always take care of yourself and others when collecting firewood
- wear appropriate safety clothing
- use well maintained equipment
- carry a first aid kit
- Avoid collecting firewood when conditions are wet, windy or hot.
- Avoid working alone or with children.
- Look for hazards such as broken overhead branches, dead standing trees, slippery ground, mine shafts or snakes and avoid these areas when collecting firewood.
- Be trained and capable in the use of equipment – especially chainsaws.
- Do not use chainsaws on days of Total Fire Ban. To avoid the risk of starting a fire, only use chainsaws fitted with a proper exhaust and spark arrester.
- Only refill chainsaw oil or fuel on a hard surface, which the oil or fuel can not soak through. Do not refill chainsaw oil or fuel on the ground.
- Visit Safety in forestry operations: Harvesting and haulage at Work Safe Victoria for more information.
- Roadside collection for domestic firewood is only allowed in designated firewood collection areas of State forests during firewood collection season.
- VicRoads does not permit collection of firewood along any of the roads it manages (main roads or arterial roads) at any time.
- For information regarding roadside collection on local municipal roads, contact your local council. Roadside firewood collection is only allowed on these roads in rare circumstances and only with local council approval.
Vehicles, heavy vehicles and heavy machinery
- Do not drive your vehicle off formed roads or established tracks in State forests.
- Do not tow or winch fallen trees along the ground.
- Vehicles and trailers must be less than 4.5 combined tonnes in weight to enter or be used in a domestic firewood collection area.
- Heavy machinery (including a bulldozer, crane, excavator, forwarder, hydraulic log splitter, saw bench, skidder, skid steer loader or tractor) must not enter or be used in a domestic firewood collection area.
Please follow these collection rules - serious penalties apply if you break the law. Video surveillance cameras are used to monitor State Forests, and DELWP and Parks Victoria conduct regular patrols of forest areas. These officers can issue on-the-spot fines or take people to court for major offences.
Penalties for not following these rules include fines up to $8,261 or up to one year’s imprisonment.
If you see an offence or misconduct, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
The legislation and regulations that establish the rules for domestic firewood collection are
- Forests Act 1958
- Forests (Domestic Firewood) Regulations 2012
- Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978
- Crown Land (Reserves) (Domestic Firewood) Regulations 2010
Page last updated: 18/02/21