LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Normally $20 each, fuelwood permits are free this year.

The season begins May 1, a month later than usual because of statewide Department of Natural Resources office closures due to the coronavirus.

Michigan residents can download a free permit online to cut fuelwood from dead and downed trees in approved areas of Michigan’s state forests. Simply print, fill out and carry it with you when you are cutting wood.

If you have already submitted an application and payment, your check will be returned to you along with your permit.

Permits are good for 90 days after they are issued, with all permits expiring Dec. 31 regardless of issue date.

Current maps showing where cutting is allowed are available online. Wood must be dead and down within 200 feet of a road. No off-road vehicles can be used to gather wood.

The permit allows for a household to collect up to five standard cords of wood which is for personal use and cannot be resold or traded.

While local DNR customer service centers and management unit offices are currently closed because of statewide measures to slow the spread of the virus, staff is available by telephone. If you have additional questions specifically regarding fuelwood permits, contact Doug Heym at 517-284-5867.