Polish authorities and state forestry agency reminded Polish citizens that they can forage firewood from forests to keep warm amid soaring energy costs on late Friday.
Deputy climate and energy minister Edward Siarka said on Twitter that the government is taking steps to make it easier for people to collect firewood to ease increasing energy bills and shortages of coal.
'It is always possible, with the consent of foresters, to collect branches for fuel,' Siarka said.
He noted that this year, amid 'the war in Ukraine and turmoil on the energy market', enquiries to local forestry units about obtaining permission to collect firewood have increased. 'Our priority has been to ensure that local communities have precedence in the self-sourcing of wood,' the deputy minister added.
The Polish government is blaming the Russian invasion of Ukraine for driving up costs, calling it 'Putinflacja' - or 'Putinflation.'
Speaking to Poland's Polsat, State Forests spokesman Michal Gzowski reminded those wishing to gather such wood that they must first obtain permission from the local forestry unit - 'even a phone call is enough' - and that they can only take wood that is 'already lying on the ground'. They cannot cut down trees, Gzowski added.
By Murat Temizer