Spring firewood collection season opens Saturday September 1

The 2018 Spring Firewood Collection Season opens on Saturday 1 September and firewood can be collected from designated firewood collection areas on public land across Gippsland until Friday 30 November.

Gippsland’s Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Kelly Rash said: “Designated firewood collection area maps, rules and other information can be found at your local DELWP office or online at www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood from September 1st.”

“We’re reminding collectors that all firewood must be picked up off the ground - it is illegal to fell trees for firewood.  Vehicles cannot be driven off formed roads and tracks, but wheel barrows can be used to access wood beyond the immediate vicinity of those roads and tracks,” Ms Rash said.

“You may collect up to two cubic metres of firewood per person per day, and up to 16 cubic metres per household per year.”

“Some additional areas will be opened up for firewood collection during the spring collection period.  This could be where substantial amounts of firewood have been incidentally produced from another operation such as hazardous tree removal or the preparation of fuel reduction burn boundaries.”

“Some designated firewood collection areas may be opened and closed at differing times during the spring firewood season for various reasons, including safety, supply or on ground conditions, such as the planned burning program.”

“Firewood collection areas that have proposed burns within them may be closed early and at short notice to allow burning operations to be undertaken safely. Closures of firewood collection areas due to burning operations will be notified on site, at local DELWP offices and on the website and DELWP Gippsland Facebook page if time allows.”

“Please remember that our State Forests are used for a range of activities including four-wheel driving, horse riding, trail bike riding, bush walking, commercial timber harvesting and deer hunting.  Consider wearing highly visible clothing when collecting firewood so that other forest users can see you.”

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 can face fines of $634, or a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment or a fine of up to $7,928 or both, if the matter proceeded to Court.