UNKNOWN offenders are allegedly illegally cutting wood in the Black Range area.
Police are requesting any information regarding illegal wood cutting in the Bushland Reserve near Sugar Loaf Road after ongoing issues have been reported.
Offenders are using chainsaws or an axe to obtain timber.
Anyone who witnesses suspicious vehicles sighted in the area are asked to report them to police.
Anyone with any information should contact Stawell Police 53 588 222 or Crime Stoppers 188 333 000 quote incident number 20IR2501535.
Firewood can be collected in the Autumn and Spring seasons.
Firewood cannot be collected outside these times to minimise risks to people, the environment and infrastructure during winter and periods of highest fire hazard.
Forest Fire Management Victoria said there are serious penalties for failing to follow firewood collection rules.
"Some firewood collection areas may close at short notice due to a planned burning activity," they said.
"You can only collect trees that are already on the ground - do not cut down, break off or damage a standing tree or shrub, even if it is dead.
"Do not collect trees that are clearly hollow or if more than half the tree is covered with moss or fungi - these trees are important for the life of the forest.
"Firewood should be as dry as possible for burning, but wood collected from a State forest is often green or wet. This green wood is difficult to light, gives off a lot of smoke and produces less heat. Green wood burns well if it is cut and stored in a dry place for 12 months."
Forest Fire Management Victoria lists restrictions on the amount of wood which can be collected.
- You can collect up to 2 cubic metres per person, per day.
- 1 cubic metre is about a 1.8 metre (6 foot) x 1.2 metre (4 foot) trailer of split firewood, neatly stacked to a height of half a metre (20 inches).
- You cannot collect more than 16 cubic metres per household per financial year (July to June).
- Some households in regional areas rely on firewood for winter energy - please consider others when deciding how much firewood to collect.
There are also a number of restrictions on sales of firewood.
Firewood from designated firewood collection areas is for domestic purposes only.
It is illegal to sell firewood collected from domestic collection areas or to use the wood in a commercial business or enterprise.
Penalties for not following the rules around firewood collection include fines up to $8,261 or up to one year's imprisonment.
If you see an offence or misconduct, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
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