SONORA — Firewood season will start Monday in the Stanislaus National Forest, which charges just $10 per cord but makes you do the work.
The U.S. Forest Service is selling permits that allow people to take dead and downed wood for home use. Each permit costs $25 and allows cutting of 2½ cords. The limit is 10 cords per household.
Woodcutters must follow rules aimed at protecting the forest, including spark arrestors for their chain saws and other fire-safety measures. They also will find some areas still closed because of snow or mud, but less so than in most years because of the dry winter.
Firewood season is scheduled to run through Nov. 30, though that could change with the weather.
Most of the wood is pine, fir and cedar, which are handy for getting fires going in wood stoves. The woods do not have the long-burning quality of oak, almond and other hardwoods, some of them removed from Modesto-area orchards and sold by firewood dealers.
Wood-cutting permits can be obtained at:
Forest headquarters, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, (209) 532-3671
Mi-Wok Ranger Station, Highway 108 at Mi-Wuk Village, (209) 586-3234
Summit Ranger Station, Highway 108 at Pinecrest, (209) 965-3434
Groveland Ranger Station, Highway 120 near Buck Meadows, (209) 962-7825
Calaveras Ranger Station, Highway 4 at Hathaway Pines, (209) 795-1381.
The forest will mail permits to people who order them online at www.fs.usda.gov/stanislaus or by phoning the offices.