Domestic firewood collection from state forests within the yellow boundary on the map is restricted to local residents from the local government areas shaded on the map, including Mitchell and Macedon Ranges shires.

CHANGES to firewood collection regulations on public land in central Victoria will come into effect from March 1 to help preserve firewood resources for the future.

Under the new changes, firewood collection from designated areas in state forests within parts of central Victoria will be restricted to residents of specific local shires only.

Although the domestic firewood collection restrictions boundary crosses through the Mitchell Shire, residents outside of the boundary can cross into the collection area as long as they adhere to the restrictions in place.

Rules for firewood collection areas in public land in Mitchell Shire that falls outside of the boundary are yet to be announced.

Forest Fire Management Victoria forest planning team leader Amy Groch said the changes would maintain a more sustainable domestic firewood supply for residents in central Victoria.

“While firewood is free to collect, supply is not unlimited. This means firewood needs to be managed responsibility to ensure environmental sustainability,” she said.

“These changes aim to ensure that local communities gain greater access to the available firewood this autumn in preparation for winter.

“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, in autumn from March 1 to June 30 and Spring from September 1 to November 30.

“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.”

Macedon Ranges Shire will also have access to firewood from central Victorian state forests.

Firewood collectors may be asked to prove their address when collecting firewood.

A list of the central Victorian state forests with the new restrictions can be found at www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood.