Plan for impact of floods on firewood collection
Monday 3 September, 2012
Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) are encouraging residents to plan their trip for firewood collection as flooding and wet conditions in Victoria’s River Red Gum parks and forests will affect the spring firewood collection season that started on 1 September.
River Red Gum District Chief Ranger Craig Stubbings said that recurrent flooding of the Murray, Goulburn and Ovens Rivers has limited safe access to forests in the surrounding areas.
“Firewood collection will not be feasible in most River Red Gum parks and forests as many areas of forest are still underwater,” said Mr Stubbings.
“In order to protect public safety and the environment, access to domestic firewood collection areas near Cohuna, Echuca, Barmah, Shepparton, Cobram and Yarrawonga will not open until the water subsides.”
Parks Victoria is hoping to open firewood collection areas in River Red Gum parks as conditions dry out later in the season but this is strongly dependent on weather conditions and safe access to the forest.
DSE advises there will be no firewood collection areas on Gunbower Island this spring due to flooding.
“We understand the impact this will have on local communities and urge those people that rely on firewood as a source of fuel to plan ahead to meet their needs,” said Mr Stubbings.
“Check with the local office or visit the DSE website before you head out as you may need to travel further afield to collect firewood this season.
“Please also bear in mind that firewood collected from some parks and forests may be green but this will burn well if cut and stored correctly for 12 months,” he said.
The spring domestic firewood collection season runs from 1 September 2012 to 30 November 2012. Firewood may only be collected for personal use from designated firewood collection areas marked by official signs during the season. Signs will display the rules and collection limits.
“Firewood supplies on public land are limited so we ask people to adhere to regulations to help manage the long-term sustainability of the resource,” said Mr Stubbings.
“Under new legislation, heavy penalties apply for firewood offences, and DSE and Parks Victoria officers will be increasing patrols of forests, parks and reserves to ensure people are doing the right thing.”
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