Firewood Movement: Buy It Where You Burn It
The movement of firewood can be a source of introduction and dissemination of invasive forest insects and diseases into and around the United States. Pests such as the Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer are established in other states and would cause great harm if they became established in California. The gold spotted oak borer, sudden oak death, and pitch canker are invasive pests that are established in parts of California and would cause additional harm if they became established in other parts of the state. Resource management professionals and scientists recognize that transport of firewood is one of the principal means by which many invasive pests are spread from one area to another.
Region 5 Forest Health Protection (FHP) has been gathering and analyzing information about firewood movement for the past few years. FHP put a resolution forward to the California Forest Pest Council to initiate and support a multi-agency California Firewood Task Force. This task force facilitates efforts within the state to protect our native and urban forests from invasive pests that can be moved on firewood. This is accomplished by education and outreach, identifying best management practices, supporting research management and educational programs and coordinating with similar efforts to other states and at the national level.
National firewood movement policy in Forest Service facilities has been established to help mitigate firewood as a threat to possible spread of insects and diseases. Developed campgrounds and day use facilities where fires are permitted post signs describing the potential danger of moving insects and disease in firewood. California’s key message is Buy It Where You Burn It.
- Leave firewood at home—do not transport it to campgrounds or parks.
- Use firewood from local sources.
- Bring only what you'll need, and burn responsibly.
Learn more about Firewood Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Reducing the Spread of Invasive Insects and Diseases in Cut Wood.