By Mikayla van Loon
The autumn firewood collection period is due to start on 1 March for Gippsland residents.
Designated areas across Victoria will open to communities to collect firewood for personal use, and for those who rely on it for warmth and cooking.
“Where firewood supply is scarce, priority access can 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,” Forest Fire Management Victoria Gippsland’s deputy chief fire officer, Geoff Conway said.
Forest Fire Management Victoria are expecting a high demand for firewood this season due to COVID-19 and the 2019-2020 bushfires effecting the seasons collection last year.
For this year’s collection, better mapping will be made available to the community to assess where firewood is easily and practically accessible.
Some areas may require permits if collecting from the roadside and residents can contact their local council to get more information.
“Many firewood collection areas have changed from block areas to linear roadside areas where
firewood can be collected within 50 metres of a road,” Mr Conway said.
“There will be firewood available in some districts in VicForests coupes and along fuel breaks and planned burn boundaries for a short time before the planned burning program starts in those areas.”
Mr Conway wants to remind residents that firewood can only be collected from designated areas, with limits of two cubic metres per person per day and a maximum of 16 cubic metres per household per financial year.
Fines can be given up to $8,261 for collection of firewood outside the designated area or over the legal limits under the Forest Act 1958.
Firewood cannot be collected south of the Princes Highway in Latrobe District in autumn 2021.
The autumn firewood collection period ends on 30 June. For more information, head to www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood.