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Firewood collection: do the right thing

Friday 30 August, 2013

With the opening of the Spring Firewood Collection Season this week on 1 September, rangers are urging the community to do the right thing when collecting firewood.

Parks Victoria North West District Manager Dale Antonysen said firewood may only be collected from designated firewood collection areas and limits apply.

“Firewood is a limited resource and we need to ensure that the supply available is distributed fairly. An individual can collect two cubic metres of wood per person per day and there is a maximum household collection limit of 16 cubic metres per financial year,” said Mr Antonysen.

Firewood collection is subject to available supply, fire danger ratings, flooding, wet weather and other conditions determining safe access to tracks and forest.

“Firewood collection areas may be closed if conditions are unsuitable or if firewood supplies become low,” he said.

Parks Victoria said some designated firewood collection areas in River Red Gum forests along the Murray River will be impacted by flooding and wet conditions this season.

“It is important that people check with the local Parks Victoria office or the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) website to check what’s open and view the regulations before they head out.

“Designated firewood collection areas will also be marked by official signs that display the collection rules and collection limits in place to protect the environment and public safety,” said Mr Antonysen.

“Only fallen timber can be collected and people must not damage, disturb or destroy dead or live standing trees. It is also against the law to collect hollow logs or logs growing moss or fungi.”

Parks Victoria and DEPI are taking a zero tolerance approach to people who break the law.

“Abide by the collection rules and regulations or face the consequences. Firewood in collection areas around Mildura and Robinvale will already be cut by trained Parks Victoria staff to help protect the forest and your safety. There is absolutely no excuse for any member of the public to fell a tree.”

DEPI and Parks Victoria staff will be patrolling parks, forests and reserves to ensure people are doing the right thing. Typical on the spot fines are around $577. Offences that go to court may be liable for fines up to $7218, one year imprisonment or both.

For more information of firewood visit:www.depi.vic.gov.au/firewood call 136 186.

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