Plan winter firewood needs now
Benalla’s firewood collectors are being urged to start planning their winter firewood needs as part of the opening of the spring collection season.
From September 1 designated firewood collection areas opened across Victoria, allowing communities to gather wood for personal use.
All firewood collection activities must comply with public health measures, prioritising the safety of the Victorian community.
Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) Hume deputy chief fire officer Aaron Kennedy said they were anticipating an increased demand for firewood during the spring and autumn collection seasons because of a range of impacts, including last summer’s bushfires.
‘‘We are urging people who rely on firewood for heating and cooking to consider all options, including purchasing firewood from local merchants selling legally obtained wood,’’ Mr Kennedy said.
‘‘In fire-affected communities, we are continuing to look for opportunities to provide alternative collection areas and restrict access to residents of certain post codes or local government areas.
‘‘We want to remind the community that firewood can only be taken from designated collection areas in state forests or parks during approved collection seasons.
‘‘Designated collection areas are selected for a range of reasons including the availability of firewood, community safety, and to protect sites of cultural and environmental significance.’’
Firewood collection from roadsides is managed by local government agencies and usually requires a permit. Residents are encouraged to contact Benalla Rural City directly for further details.
For more information on firewood collection or to report illegal or suspicious behaviour in public land areas, phone the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186.
The spring season closes on November 30. More information, including interactive online maps, will be available once the season opens at www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood