WIMMERA’s wet weather has caused the early closure of several fire collection areas in the region.
Forest Fire Management Victoria’s District Manager Russell Manning said some areas would close due to safety concerns.
“Our staff have been vigilant in their assessment of conditions and have advised that many of areas are either inaccessible due to recent heavy rain or track conditions are such that providing access would only damage tracks,” he said.
He said the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning would not open the following fire collection areas:
- Balmoral Golf Course (Southern Grampians Shire)
- Brynterion Plantation (Yarriambiack Shire)
- Illawarra – Pickering Track (Northern Grampians Shire)
- Kadnook – Powers Creek Road (West Wimmera Shire)
- Ledcourt – Forest Road (Northern Grampians Shire)
- Wartook – Northern Grampians Road (Horsham Rural City Council)
- Woohlpooer Block 1 (Southern Grampians Shire)
Mr Manning said all other areas are safe for collectors.
“We believe that there are adequate supplies of firewood in these areas, of varying sizes and quality,” he said.
“Unless otherwise advised, all other designated Firewood Collection Areas will remain open until 30 November 2016, offering good access if collectors stay on marked tracks.”
Mr Manning asked residents to collect firewood by hand and said to be prepared to carry the wood some distance to their vehicle.
He said it was illegal to sell firewood collected on public land without an appropriate permit or licence or to take more than the allowed amount.
Mr Manning said any information the community may have about the illegal removal of firewood for sale can be reported to DELWP on 136 186 and quote Operation Axe.
To find your nearest firewood collection area or for more information and updates, visit www.delwp.vic.gov.au/firewood , your nearest DELWP office or call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.