Three Bendigo men fined for collecting firewood in state forest ahead of season

People caught breaking firewood collection laws near Bendigo have prompted a reminder from the state’s environment department about the need to police our parks. 

Forest and Fire Management Victoria officer Tim Wishart said three men were found gathering wood in the Lyell State Forest outside of firewood collection season. 

Officers were carrying out maintenance in the park when they heard the men’s chainsaws.  

The trio, from Flora Hill, Werribee and Axedale and aged between 23 and 25, were each fined $634.  

Read more: Police talk farm security after firewood theft

“Forest Fire Management Victoria officers work in the forests every day and take a zero-tolerance approach to people who violate firewood collection laws,” Mr Wishart said.

“All of the illegally collected wood was confiscated.” 

Under the Forest Act 1958, people who collect firewood outside designated firewood collection areas or a firewood collection season or take more than the maximum allowable amounts can face fines of $634, or a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment. 

The spring collection season does not open until September 1. 

Mr Wishart asked people who saw suspicious behaviour in forests to phone the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186, or contact the nearest police station.