Kyabram Free Press

Firewood season open again

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Add firewood collection to the list of reasons why you are allowed to leave your home.

The arrival of spring on September 1 marked the start of the Loddon Mallee firewood collection season. Firewood, for personal use only, can now be gathered from designated firewood collection areas in state forests.

Under the current COVID-19 restrictio­ns, if firewood is essential for home heating or cooking, people can travel to the closest designated firewood collection area as long as physical distancing requiremen­ts are followed.

Forest Fire Management Victoria acting district manager

Adrian Parker said firewood collection was only allowed in designated firewood collection areas during firewood season.

"Due to the limited supply of firewood within the river red gum forests in the Loddon Mallee region, restrictio­ns are in place to ensure local residents are given priority access to their firewood," Mr Parker said.

"Firewood collection for the Gunbower Island and Guttrum State Forest (Robertson Break and Miller Road) will be limited to residents of the shires of Campaspe, Gannawarra, Loddon and Swan Hill Rural City Council only.

"Firewood collected during the spring firewood collection season may be green. Green wood burns well if cut and stored correctly for 12 months.

"I'd like to remind people that you are only allowed to collect two cubic metres per person per day.

"You can only collect a total of 16 cubic metres of firewood per household per financial year.

"People are not allowed to fell trees at any time of year, even if inside a designated firewood collection area."

Mr Parker said firewood was an “unpredicta­ble and finite resource". "We strongly encourage people who rely on firewood for heating and cooking to plan their firewood needs and explore all energy options.

“Please be COVID-SAFE and aware of the environmen­t around you at all times. Trees may fall or drop limbs without warning.”

▯ Financial assistance is available for people on low incomes who purchase firewood; visit: https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/ firewood/energyconc­ession-and-support

▯ For more informatio­n on firewood collection rules and to find out the closest designated firewood collection area, go to: https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/ firewood/firewoodco­llection-in-your-region

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