The first firewood collection season for 2020 is now open across Victoria allowing communities to enter approved collection points and gather wood ahead of autumn.
Victorians using firewood are able to plan their collection with interactive online maps on the FFMVic website.
The season officially closes on 30 June.
Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman said DELWP staff and partners had been working across the state to ensure firewood could be collected from designated areas on public land as legislated on 1 March 2020.
Due to the bushfires in Hume and Gippsland there will be some changes to the availability of firewood and we are working on a plan to make firewood available to the community as soon as possible.
“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 Hardman 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.”
“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.”
Authorised officers are patrolling parks, forests and reserves to ensure people are doing the right thing.
“We are tough on illegal firewood collection, given the negative impacts it has on forest health, wildlife habitat, public safety and the sustainability of firewood resources that local communities rely on,” said Chief Conservation Regulator Kate Gavens.
“Most people follow the rules, however it’s important for anyone collecting firewood on public land to be aware of where, when and what firewood can be collected to avoid significant penalties”.
Firewood collection areas near planned burns may close for public safety. It’s important that to check where burns are happening as affected firewood collection areas may be closed at short notice. Go to https://plannedburns.ffm.vic.gov.au/
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.
For any further information on firewood collection or to report illegal or suspicious behaviour in public land areas, please contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186.
Page last updated: 03/03/20