The Autumn Firewood Collection Season for 2017 starts across Victoria next Wednesday (1st of March 2017) and will close on Friday the 30th of June.

firewoodForest Fire Management Victoria spokesperson Peter Kambouris said: “Once the firewood collection season is underway, it’s important that people only collect firewood from within designated firewood collection areas and 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.”

“Designated collection areas are put in place to protect sites of cultural and environmental significance. Also, some households rely on firewood for winter energy so consider others when taking wood,” Mr Kambouris said.

“People should check where designated collection areas are in their local area. They should also check local weather and forest conditions to make sure it’s safe before collecting firewood.”

“Availability of dry firewood will vary across collection areas throughout the state. Green wood only is likely to be available at some areas and will burn best if split and stored correctly for up to 12 months.

“The felling of any trees for firewood is strictly prohibited. Authorised officers will be patrolling parks, forests and reserves to ensure people are doing the right thing while collecting their firewood. Concealed cameras may be installed on areas of public land where firewood is being removed illegally to assist with evidence collection."

For more information go to: www.delwp.vic.gov.au/firewood or call 136 186. From the 1st of March, maps showing designated collection areas will be available through the website.

Permission from local government is needed for the collection of firewood from roadsides under their management. VicRoads does not currently allow firewood collection on roadsides it manages. Roadside collection of firewood in State forests is only allowed in a designated collection area

Infringement Notices for illegal firewood collection are $622.00, with maximum penalties for offences under the Forest Act 1958 standing at $7,773.00, one year imprisonment or both.

Any information the community may have about the illegal removal of firewood for sale can be reported to DELWP on 136 186 and quote Operation Axe.