During autumn, many people prepare for the cold, wet and windy days ahead by collecting wood for their winter fires.
The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) is urging the community to carefully consider the source of their firewood to minimise negative impacts on the environment.
Wood removed from roadsides and bush land has the potential to spread diseases that affect plant life and have a negative impact on wildlife including birds, lizards and small mammals.
DEW Eyre Peninsula District Manager, Mark Anderson says it is better to get firewood from a woodlot plantation, or source it from a landholder who has collected fallen timber from production paddocks.
“Timber provides a number of species including echidnas, bats, dunnarts, pygmy possums, geckoes, dragon lizards and birds with a refuge and food source, as well as providing habitat for new plants and fungis to thrive,” Mr Anderson said.
“Wood collected on road sides and in reserves may also spread a range of diseases such as Phytopthora, an introduced soil fungus that attacks roots and kills native plants.
“Sourcing wood from national parks is unsustainable and illegal. We urge people to do the right thing by leaving wood for wildlife and reporting illegal wood cutting in national parks.”
Under the National Parks and Wildlife Act equipment can be seized including chainsaws, trailers and vehicles.
Firewood sourced from private property must be collected in accordance with the Native Vegetation Act and Regulations.
Firewood can also be purchased from service stations and other retail outlets. Anyone who wishes to report illegal wood cutting in national parks can contact their local Natural Resources office or service centre.