Make Wise Firewood Choices

September 24, 2019

The Maine Forest Service, reminds Mainers and visitors to use only local and heat-treated firewood. Why? Because it is the smart thing to do and there are legal restrictions on the movement of some firewood. Untreated firewood from out-of-state is banned (www.maine.gov/firewood) and moving hardwood firewood from within Maine's emerald ash borer quarantine areas is strictly prohibited- quarantined areas includes all of York County and the northern tip of Aroostook County (www.maine.gov/eab).

"When people move firewood they often think their firewood is harmless or that the cost of wood is too high where they are going. However, they can unwittingly carry destructive insects and diseases with them that are far costlier," said State Entomologist Allison Kanoti, These pests cause devastation in the forest which can ruin the beauty and bounty of the Maine forest that people come to enjoy.

Autumn is here, and cold weather will quickly catch up. For many, fall is the favorite season and cooler temperatures do not stop us from getting outside. With hard frosts, biting flies will abate and hardwoods will be ablaze with color, making time outside even more enjoyable. Colder nights will make firewood a more frequent accessory to overnight and outdoor pursuits.

Whether it is a fire to drive the chill out of camp or to warm up an evening outside, firewood should come from a local source or be heat-treated. The fact is that firewood from distant sources has moved Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer, oak wilt, southern pine beetle, brown spruce longhorned beetle and a host of other forest pests to new locales.

Sources of treated or local firewood can be found online at firewood scout http://firewoodscout.org/s/ME/.

For more information about invasive forest insects and diseases visit www.maine.gov/forestpests