Harvested plantation timber will help stock Council’s firewood depots over coming months.
Planted in 2004 at the Bowser East Landfill site, the timber has recently been harvested to make way for the new Organics Processing Plant.
Some of the timber has already been taken to Council’s Community Firewood Depots at Glenrowan (Park Rd off Rifle Range Road) and Eldorado (between Main St and Tresize St) and was quickly snapped up, with more to be made available periodically.
Anyone planning to gather timber is encouraged to firstly check the depots to make sure there is enough timber to purchase, then purchase a permit from the Wangaratta Government Centre, Eldorado Store or Glenrowan Post Office.
The cost of a firewood depot permit is $21.90 non-concession & $14.60 for concession card holders, for collection of up to 2 cubic metres. The timber is of mixed species and is usually green, requiring drying before burning.
A chainsaw is required to cut wood into a manageable size and chainsaw safety must be adhered to when colleting from the depots.
Other options for the community to gather firewood are at designated Council roadsides, and through Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) managed firewood collection areas within State Forest.
Permits to collect firewood from certain Council roadsides can only be purchased from the Wangaratta Government Centre and upon approval may be given with conditions.
Directions and more information on the DELWP collection areas can be found at website www.ffm.vic.gov.au or call 136 186.
Native vegetation, in particular tree hollows and fallen timber, provides important habitat to a variety of animals such as parrots, kookaburras, owls, possums, gliders, bats and lizards. Firewood depots provide opportunity for community access to sustainable and affordable firewood, whilst reducing the need to source firewood from vulnerable roadside habitats.
Reducing Wood Smoke
With winter almost here Council is encouraging people with wood heaters to take steps to reduce the amount of smoke.
Council receives several complaints each year about the smoke coming from people’s chimneys, also known as wood smoke.
Wood smoke occurs when there is not enough oxygen, or heat in a fire, causing environmental and health problems.
Helpful tips to minimize wood smoke are below and on the Environmental Protection Authority’s website.
Council would also like to remind the community that anyone in a residential, commercial or industrial area requires a permit from Council to burn outdoors.
You can minimise the amount of smoke from a woodheater if you:
- burn only dry, seasoned, untreated wood;
- use smaller logs instead of only one large log;
- do not pack the fire box too full as this will starve the fire of oxygen and cause it to smoulder;
- keep the fire burning brightly for the first 20 minutes after lighting and reloading – the faster you can get the fire going the less smoke there will be;
- always have a visible flame if you plan to keep the fire going overnight.
To keep a wood heater burning efficiently it needs to be maintained and serviced.
- Check your heater and flue before every heating season. Look for cracks or changes to the surface. If you notice problems have it checked by a qualified service person.
- Have your flue or chimney professionally cleaned at least once a year.
- Not only will this reduce smoke, it will also reduce the buildup of creosote residue in the flue.