Autumn domestic firewood collection season delayed
Wednesday 27 February, 2013
The start of Victoria’s Autumn 2013 Firewood Collection Season has been delayed for the majority of the state because of safety concerns for people collecting domestic firewood while several major fires continue to burn and the risk of bushfire remains high in many forests across the state.
Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) Statewide Land and Fire Coordinator Rob Price said the firewood collection season would normally commence on 1 March but, except for far East Gippsland, this year the season opening will be delayed until 15 March.
"The commencement date of the domestic firewood season can be varied if the fire danger poses a risk to public safety," Mr Price said.
"Apart from far East Gippsland, which has had recent rain, remaining forested areas across the state are very dry and there is a risk of more fires starting from people cutting or collecting firewood from forests."
"Fire agencies are still responding to major bushfires in the West, North East and some parts of Gippsland."
"This decision has been made by the Secretary for DSE in the interests of public safety."
"The public will be able to collect firewood from 1 March in designated domestic firewood collection areas in the DSE Orbost District, generally east of the Snowy River in the far east of the state."
"For the remainder of the state, DSE and Parks Victoria will now aim to open the season on Friday 15 March, or sooner, subject to any significant rainfall events or a reduction in the fire danger risk."
DSE and Parks Victoria staff will be patrolling parks, forests and reserves to ensure people are doing the right thing.
Firewood collection is only permitted during designated times of the year and from designated firewood collection areas.
Typical on the spot fines are around $560. Offences that go to court may be liable for fines up to $7042, one year imprisonment or both.
For more information and updates visit www.dse.vic.gov.au/firewood or call the DSE Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
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