Changes to firewood collection regulations on public land in the Upper Murray area have been introduced for the spring collection period.
From 1 September, firewood collection from designated collection areas in the Upper Murray will be restricted to residents of Towong Shire and specific post codes within adjoining local government areas.
Residents living outside the Towong Shire in the following postcodes will be able to collect firewood from the designated collection areas in the Upper Murray District;
- City of Wodonga within postcodes 3691 and 3690.
- Indigo Shire within postcodes 3691,3695.
- Alpine Shire within postcodes 3691,3697,3698,3699.
People from these postcodes collecting within designated collection areas may be asked for proof of their address by authorised officers.
Further information about collection areas, including interactive online maps, will be available once the season opens at www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood
Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic), District Manager Upper Murray, Dave Jenson said:
“These changes aim to ensure that fire impacted communities gain greater access to the available firewood this spring in preparation for next winter,” Mr Jenson said.
“Due to a range of impacts, including the coronavirus pandemic and last summer’s bushfires, we are anticipating increased demand for the available firewood.
“We will continue to look for opportunities to make available to the community wood salvaged from bushfire response and recovery works.”
All firewood collection activities must comply with Victorian Government public health measures, prioritising the safety of the Victorian community.
“We want to remind the community that firewood can only be taken from designated collection areas in State forests or parks during approved collection seasons,” Mr Jenson said.
“Designated collection areas are selected for a range of reasons including the availability of firewood, community safety, and to protect sites of cultural and environmental significance.
“Firewood collected from public land is for personal use only and cannot be sold.
“It’s 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 of hollow logs for firewood is also prohibited. Hollow logs and dead trees provide critical habitat for a wide variety of native species.”
Firewood collection from roadsides is managed by Local Government Agencies and usually requires a permit. Residents are encouraged to contact their local councils directly for further details.
Authorised officers patrol parks, forests and reserves to ensure people are doing the right thing.
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 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.
Brittany Evans |Regional Media and Communications Adviser | Hume Region