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Plant Health

Firewood

firewoodWhether used to heat your home or build a campfire, firewood is a must-have item for millions of Americans. However, firewood also presents a very real threat to the Nation's forests. Invasive species including the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and emerald ash borer (EAB) can be spread into new areas of the country on firewood. To date, ALB and EAB have been detected in a total of 13 States and without intervention the continued spread of these pests is likely. To this end, APHIS is combating these invasive pests with quarantines, public awareness campaigns and other efforts in known infested areas, while some States have adopted regulations limiting the movement of firewood. However, these actions alone are not enough; it is up to all of us to contribute to the preservation of our Nation's forests by committing to not move firewood from where it is cut. By “burning where you buy it” you can be sure that you're not accidentally moving these damaging forest pests into new areas.

In addition to the interstate movement of firewood, APHIS also recognizes that invasive species can move across international borders in firewood. In fact, the movement of firewood into the United States from all foreign countries other than Canada is prohibited without treatment. To address and further harmonize this issue internationally, in 2008, APHIS issued a Federal Order requiring all hardwood firewood entering the United States from Canada be heat treated to kill any pests in the wood. Additionally, on May 22, 2011 APHIS issued a Federal Order requiring all softwood firewood entering the United States from Canada be heat treated to kill any pests in the wood, along with modifying the treatment requirements of hardwood firewood. APHIS is working with its Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to develop long-term solutions to this issue.

News and Information

 

National Firewood Task Force: 
One of the steps APHIS is taking to address the risk of interstate forest pest movement on firewood is to look at possible regulatory, voluntary and outreach strategies to help limit the inadvertent spread of forest pests. Through the National Firewood Task Force, APHIS, the National Plant Board, National Association of State Foresters, U.S. Forest Service and the National Parks Service have developed a set of recommendations for State and Tribal officials to consider regarding steps they can take to combat this threat. These recommendations were developed by the Task Force over a period of six months in late 2009 and early 2010 and are currently in the process of being reviewed by various stakeholder groups. If you have comments or suggestions regarding the recommendations, please e-mail us at: firewood@aphis.usda.gov.

 

Firewood Tips

Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid moving invasive pests in firewood:

  • Buy it at your destination and only purchase local firewood. Many recreational areas have firewood for sale. Inquire when you make your reservations.
  • Ask questions about the firewood you purchase—where did it come from? Always buy firewood that was cut locally.
  • When you do purchase firewood at your destination, burn it all—don't take it back home with you.


Maps

 

Information Resources (Firewood)

 

Information Resources (Invasive Species)

 

Information Resources (Canadian firewood)

For More Information Please send an email to firewood@aphis.usda.gov



Additional Information