Four Wheel Drive Victoria has been informed by Forest Fire Management Victoria that the Spring Firewood collection season will open across Victoria on Wednesday 1 September and close on Tuesday 30 November.

Under the current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, if firewood is essential for home heating or cooking people can travel to the closest designated firewood collection area as long as physical distancing requirements are followed. Stay as close to home as possible.

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Aaron Kennedy said “It’s important that people only collect firewood from designated collection areas in State forests or parks where collection is allowed and stay within collection limits.

“You may collect up to two cubic metres of firewood per person per day, and up to 16 cubic metres per household per year. This prevents households stockpiling large volumes of firewood and denying others a supply.

“Some designated firewood collection areas may not open at the beginning of the season for various reasons, including firewood supply or accessibility due to wet conditions.

“It should be remembered firewood is an unpredictable and finite resource and this is why we strongly encourage people who rely on firewood for heating and cooking to plan their firewood needs and explore all energy options.

“If you are collecting firewood for essential heating or cooking, make sure you follow the public health advice by staying 1.5 metres away from others and wearing a fitted face mask.

“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.

“Illegal firewood collection has negative impacts on forest health, wildlife habitat and the sustainability of firewood resources that local communities rely on.

“Where firewood supply is limited, priority access will be given to particular sections of the community such as local residents, Traditional Owners, and those who depend on firewood for heating. This is managed at a regional level, so local factors can be accounted for.”

Firewood collection maps can be found here - https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood/firewood-collection-in-your-region

Financial assistance is available for people on low incomes who purchase firewood. https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood/energy-concession-and-support