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Michigan opens forests to people who burn wood to heat homes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan says people who heat their homes with wood can collect it in publicly managed forests through the weekend.

The state typically requires $20 for a 90-day permit that's good between April and the end of December. But no permit is required through Sunday as Michigan residents cope with extremely cold weather .

The rules for collecting wood can be found at www.Michigan.gov/fuelwood. The collection of wood is limited to within 200 feet of a state forest road. Live trees must be left alone, and no wood can be collected in state parks.

Ed Golder of the Department of Natural Resources says wood for fuel is most plentiful in the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula.

The Census Bureau says 3 percent of Michigan households burn wood for heat, compared to 76 percent with natural gas.

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