Fire­wood sea­son is closed for year

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

THE fire­wood col­lec­tion sea­son will close across Vic­to­ria after to­day.

For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria’s (FFMVic) Adrian Parker said all des­ig­nated fire­wood col­lec­tion ar­eas would be closed over the sum­mer pe­riod.

It will be il­le­gal for peo­ple to col­lect fire­wood on pub­lic land un­til the au­tumn fire­wood col­lec­tion sea­son open­ing on Fri­day, March 1, 2019.

‘‘Fire­wood col­lec­tion may have al­ready fin­ished in some parts of the state where rain­fall and flood­ing has af­fected track con­di­tions and made it un­safe to col­lect or where sup­plies have been ex­hausted,” Mr Parker said.

“We want to re­mind the pub­lic that fire­wood can only be taken from des­ig­nated col­lec­tion ar­eas in state forests or parks dur­ing these times and is for per­sonal use only and can­not be sold.

“It is im­por­tant to stay within col­lec­tion lim­its, which are in place to pre­vent house­holds stock­pil­ing large vol­umes of fire­wood from pub­lic land and deny­ing oth­ers a sup­ply.

“Fire­wood is a shared pub­lic re­source that pro­vides a range of en­vi­ron­men­tal val­ues in­clud­ing land pro­tec­tion, wa­ter­way health and habi­tats for na­tive wildlife, and needs to be man­aged in a sus­tain­able way for the fu­ture

“Fire pre­ven­tion is one of the key rea­sons col­lec­tion sea­son closes prior to De­cem­ber each year, while also al­low­ing the shared pub­lic spa­ces to be used for a range of recre­ational pur­poses over sum­mer.’’

Col­lec­tion lim­its in­clude tak­ing a max­i­mum of two cu­bic me­tres per per­son per day and a max­i­mum of 16 cu­bic me­tres per house­hold per year.

There are on-the-spot fines of $634 for il­le­gal fire­wood col­lec­tion be­hav­iour, and if an of­fence goes to court the per­son may be li­able for fines up to $7928, one-year-im­pris­on­ment, or both.

“For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria and Parks Vic­to­ria staff will be pa­trolling parks, forests and re­serves to make sure ev­ery­one does the right thing,’’ Mr Parker said.

‘‘Care­ful plan­ning and col­lec­tion rules are en­forced to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment and habi­tat for na­tive an­i­mals.’’

To find your near­est fire­wood col­lec­tion area visit www.ffm.vic.gov.au/fire­wood, and any in­for­ma­tion on the il­le­gal re­moval of fire­wood from pub­lic land for sale can be re­ported to DELWP on 136 186. fi­nan­cial

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