- Monday, 15 August 2022 at 6:23 am
All 6 were fined for removing firewood outside a designated firewood collection area with 2 of them receiving extra fines for illegally driving off-road.
The 6 people were fined as follows:
- Dunolly State Forest – Dunolly man, 34 years old, fined $727
- Dunolly State Forest – Dunolly woman, 52 years old, fined $727 and $282
- Tarnagulla State Forest – Tarnagulla man, 72 years old, fined $727 and $282
- Maryborough State Forest – Maryborough man, 36 years old, fined $727
- Longbush State Forest – Bendigo man, 25 years old, fined $740
- Longbush State Forest – Harcourt man, 21 years old, fined $740
Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) Senior Forest and Fire Operations Officer Tim Wishart said Authorised Officers fined these people after a successful investigation into community reports of illegal firewood collection in Dunolly, Tarnagulla and Maryborough State Forests.
“The two men cutting wood in Longbush State Forest were caught by Authorised Officers on regular patrols,” Mr Wishart said.
“Illegal firewood collection is a serious offence and will not be tolerated. Anyone found cutting or taking firewood from state forests outside designated firewood collection areas or firewood collection periods will be fined and potentially prosecuted."
"It’s great to see most people are doing the right thing and sticking to the collection seasons and designated areas, however people should know Authorised Officers regularly patrol parks, forests and reserves to catch those who aren’t."
“We would also like to thank community members who contacted DELWP to report this suspicious behaviour. It is through community reporting that we were able to identify and fine four of the people.”
Firewood is a shared resource that needs to be managed in a sustainable way to protect the environment, including native wildlife habitat. This is why those caught breaking firewood collection rules can face penalties of up to $9,246 or a year in prison. Vehicles and equipment may also be seized.
Conservation Regulator and FFMVic Authorised Officers are authorised to enforce environmental laws and conduct frequent patrols in forests and parks, targeting the illegal collection of firewood from public land.
The community can also report the illegal cutting or removal of firewood anonymously by calling the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on 136 186 or contacting their local DELWP or Parks Victoria depot.
The 2022 spring domestic firewood collection season runs from 1 September until 30 November.
Information about firewood collection rules be found on our Firewood regulation webpage.