More than 100 Firewood Collection Areas will open in the Hume Region from today as the Autumn Firewood Collection Season for 2017 starts across Victoria.
Forest Fire Management Victoria’s assistant chief fire officer Hume Gill Metz said once the firewood collection season was under way, people could only collect firewood from designated areas and must 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,’’ Ms Metz said.
‘‘Designated collection areas are put in place to protect sites of cultural and environmental significance.
‘‘Some households rely on firewood for winter energy, so consider others when taking wood.
‘‘There will be 108 firewood collection areas open across the Hume Region this autumn, dependent on accessibility and conditions, which is more than in any other part of the state.’’
Ms Metz said people should check weather, fire danger and forest conditions to ensure it was safe to collect firewood.
Collection areas may also close if firewood supplies become low.
‘‘Firewood collected during the firewood collection season may be green,’’ she said.
‘‘Green wood burns well if cut, split and stored correctly for 12 months.
‘‘Some firewood collection areas may be part of the autumn planned burning program, so its important that you check where burns are happening.
‘‘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.’’
Anyone with information about the illegal removal of firewood for sale can be reported to DELWP on 136186 and quote Operation Axe.
Infringement Notices for illegal firewood collection are $622, with maximum penalties for offences under the Forest Act 1958 standing at $7773, one year imprisonment or both.
The Autumn Firewood Collection Season closes on Friday, June 30.
●For more information, go to www.delwp.vic.gov.au/firewood or phone 136186.