Community members seeking to collect firewood from local State forests are being encouraged to arrange a permit online and collect their wood now, ahead of planned hazard reduction burns.
Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Protection Supervisor Julian Armstrong said the Benandarah State Forest was currently the only approved forest for firewood collection in the Batemans Bay area, and a hazard reduction burn was scheduled for the forest in mid-June.
“Firewood collection is only available in selected areas of State forests each year, which is generally in areas that have recently been harvested for timber, to use as much of each harvested tree as possible and maintain important on-ground habitat in other areas of the forest,” Mr Armstrong said.
“Due to the impact of fires, this year the only area near Batemans Bay that is currently available for firewood collection is Benandarah State Forest, west of the Princes Highway near Cullendulla.
“People looking to collect firewood in the local area are encouraged to get a permit on our website and collect their firewood before early June if possible.
“Firewood collection will be possible after the hazard reduction burn is completed and the area made safe, but there will be a period during which the forest is closed and most logs will be charred on the outside after the burn.
In June, Forestry Corporation will be conducting a fuel reduction burn across up to 300 hectares of Benandarah State Forest using low intensity fire.
“This hazard reduction burn will reduce fuel left over after recent harvesting operations, such as leaves and small limbs, create a rich seed bed that promotes forest regrowth and provide protection to adjoining private properties,” Mr Armstrong said.
“There’s a narrow window of opportunity to safely complete hazard reduction burns, when it’s not too hot or damp and the wind conditions limit the impact of smoke on neighbours, so the exact timing of this operation is uncertain, depending on current and forecast weather conditions at the time. Notifications will be broadcast one or two days immediately before the burn commences in June
“While Forestry Corporation fire fighters will carefully monitor all controlled burns to ensure they stay within containment lines, we do ask people to pay attention to any signs in the forest or instructions from staff and stay away from any burning or recently burnt areas for their own safety.”
To arrange a firewood permit, visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au For more information about hazard reduction burns, contact the Forestry Corporation Batemans Bay Office on 1300 880 548.