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Forest sites open for free wood

Photo - FFMVic

Spring is here and that means the firewood collection season is open for business.

The first day of spring (1 September) allows people to collect firewood for domestic use only, from state forests until Thursday 30 November.

Grampians Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Tony English said access to some firewood collection areas might be restricted until tracks are dry and conditions are safe.

“Please be aware of the environment around you at all times and safety of others when in state forests, trees may fall or drop limbs without warning,” he said.

“If you are collecting firewood, please also ensure that you are appropriately trained and equipped to use any items such as chainsaws.”

Overall, there will be 33 collection sites available across the Grampians region, including 10 in the Wombat State Forest.

Mr English said they’ve been working collaboratively with other agencies in storm impacted areas, which includes local councils, Parks Victoria and VicForests to reduce risk in areas that were affected by the 2021 storm.

“This includes removing the danger caused by hazardous trees in areas that have firewood collection sites.

“As we undertake further storm recovery works, there will continue to be some local road and site closures in the Wombat State Forest.”

Members of the public are asked to adhere to these closures for their own safety and the safety of crews as they carry out this important work.

Mr English said whilst firewood is free to collect, supply is not unlimited.

“People can collect up to two cubic metres per person per day with a maximum of 16 cubic metres per household per financial year,” he said.

“Each firewood collection season we ensure there is a provision of firewood for the community, while ensuring fallen logs are still available as habitat.”

“The firewood is prioritised for local communities and those who depend on firewood as their primary source of heating and cooking.”

Community members who are collecting firewood are urged to play it safe and check local weather conditions and their planned route before heading into the forest.

Planned burning will also increase during spring as the weather improves and may require firewood collection sites to be closed at short notice.

Before heading out to any firewood collection areas it is advisable to check the website www.ffm.vic.gov.au and search firewood collection.