The Spring firewood season is open. Firewood can be collected from 1 September until 30 November in designated fire wood collection areas in state forests.

There is plenty of wood around, but it can only be collected in designated areas.

Firewood collection areas can be found on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website. Area maps can be downloaded.

Local firewood collection areas include: Mill Road, Leonards Hill, Clunes Road and Ballarat Road.

Some firewood collection areas may close at short notice due to a planned burning activity. New firewood collection areas may also open through the season.

There are rules on what may be collected and stiff penalties can be imposed.

You can only collect trees or parts of trees that already on the ground. Don’t collect trees that are clearly hollow or covered in moss or fungi.

Don’t take wood within 20 m of any rivers, creeks, lakes or dams.

Don’t damage native animals or plants and respect cultural heritage sites.

Don’t use a chainsaw on a day of total fire ban and make sure chainsaws are fined with a proper exhaust and spark arrester. Chainsaws should be refilled on a hard service where liquid cannot soak through – not on the ground.

Take litter with you when you leave.

You may not sell firewood collected in designated collection areas. It is for private domestic purposes only.

Penalties of up to $8261 or up to 1 year in prison apply if you break the law regarding firewood collection. Video surveillance and regular patrols are in place. Officers can issue on the spot fines or take people to court for major offences.