Moorabool council and the state government are getting fired up about people who chop down trees on public land in a bid to get warm this winter.

The council has received several calls about unpermitted roadside collection and reports of illegal tree cutting in recent weeks.

“Council does not permit the collection of firewood from roadsides or reserves,” a statement on council’s Facebook page said. Designated firewood collection areas in Moorabool include Blackwood, Dales Creek, Buninyong, Mt Doran and Creswick.

The autumn firewood collection period ended last Friday and Forest Fire Management Victoria’s regional manager Shaun Lawlor reminded residents that the next period starts on September 1.

He also warned that illegal firewood collection carries hefty fines.

“Firewood collectors are reminded that it is illegal to sell firewood collected on public land without an appropriate permit or licence or to take more than the allowed amount,” Mr Lawlor said.

“Officers patrol forests and take a zero-tolerance approach to those who are violating firewood collection laws.”

People who collect firewood outside designated firewood collection areas, out of season, take more than the maximum allowable amounts or those who sell firewood they have collected, face on-the-spot fines of $607. The maximum penalty in court is one year imprisonment or a $7583.50 fine.

Any information about the illegal removal of firewood can be reported to DELWP on 136 186 quoting Operation Block Splitter. Details:

ffm.vic.gov.au