Across Australia, there are areas you can collect FREE Firewood from forests.
This page is here to guide you where, when and how to collect FREE firewood.
In Victoria, is designated areas, Firewood can be collected from:
Many Victorians use firewood for heating, with a smaller proportion for hot water and food preparation. Victorians have access to firewood for domestic purposes from designated firewood collection areas. While firewood is free to collect, supply is not unlimited and there is a cost to make it available to the community. This means firewood needs to be managed responsibly. The Victorian Government is undertaking a review into the management of firewood collection in public forests for domestic purposes.
Firewood can be collected from designated areas during two collection seasons (Autumn, 1 March to 30 June and Spring, 1 September to 30 November) each year. The duration of these seasons can be changed if there is a risk to public safety from bushfire.
Victoria’s forests provide for a wide range of experiences, support natural values and ecosystems and produce a range of natural resources that include water, timber, honey and firewood.
To ensure our firewood resource is managed sustainably, VicForests open up selected areas of State forest, and in some cases forest parks and regional parks (specifically, the Cobboboonee Forest Park and Otway Forest Park). Careful planning and rules enforced by authorised officers protect the environment and habitat for native animals. For example logs cannot be removed that are hollow, growing moss or fungi.
To help achieve a sustainable supply of firewood, collection levels are capped by calculating where and how much firewood can be collected from designated collection areas. Large areas of forests are reserved and exclude firewood collection to help manage and protect all the forest uses. Careful planning and monitoring is needed for firewood management – if firewood is collected faster than the forest grows back, the health of the forest ecosystem declines and supplies get scarcer and scarcer.
Where firewood resources are scarce, priority access may be allowed to particular sections of the community such as local residents, Traditional Owners, those dependent on firewood for heating or concession card holders. This is managed at a regional level, where we can take account of local factors.
The government and community have a shared responsibility to ensure firewood collection is sustainable. Our role as the land manager for State forests is to set policy and rules for establishing firewood collection areas. The responsibility for the community is to comply with the rules for firewood collection. A well-functioning system for firewood management will help ensure future generations, our children and grandchildren, will inherit healthy forests.
VicForests objectives for sustainable firewood management are to:
Management at a local level is guided by the following principles:
If supply of firewood becomes limited, the local land manager can apply rules to protect the forest health and help manage the current and future supply volumes. If rules are applied, they are published in the Government Gazette and on the FFMVic website. A description of the rules are outlined in the table below.
Each firewood collection season the Forest Fire Management website provides current collection area information.
They can make an area of State forest available to the community for domestic firewood collection under the Forests Act 1958. This includes Cobboboonee and Otway forest parks. In exceptional circumstances, firewood from public forests is made available from depots or stockpiles on public land, for example, following salvage works after major bushfires, if there are major road works, or trees are felled for safety purposes.
Firewood collection areas cannot be established in national parks and other areas managed under the National Parks Act 1975 or in most other parks and conservation reserves. However, the relevant land manager, either Parks Victoria or DELWP, can establish firewood collection areas under the relevant Act when there is a government approved recommendation from the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council that specifies a location (currently the Shepparton Regional Park).
Commercial firewood supply from public forests is managed by VicForests. Consider buying firewood from legal commercial suppliers of firewood certified under the Voluntary Code of Practice for Firewood merchants.
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