New Signs Warn of Dangers of Out-of-State Firewood
October 1, 2020
For more information contact: Jim Britt at firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUSTA - The installation of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) high-visibility road signage is underway. The sign's message "FIREWOOD ALERT - TRANSPORTING FIREWOOD INTO MAINE IS BANNED" (photos follow) is intended to protect against the incursion of new pests like Asian longhorned beetle, oak wilt or beech leaf disease and the further spread of emerald ash borer (EAB), hemlock woolly adelgid, and other forest pests and diseases. DACF worked with the Maine Department of Transportation (MeDOT) on the signs' production and installation. The project was funded by a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"Invasive threats not yet found in Maine as well as those already in Maine like the emerald ash borer and hemlock woolly adelgid are killing trees in Maine and many nearby states," commented Gary Fish, State Horticulturalist. "DACF's mission with these signs is to educate everyone entering and traveling around Maine, that out of state firewood is banned, and moving firewood within our state threatens to worsen the devastating impact of invasive pests and diseases on our forests."
"We hear it all the time, people pack firewood thinking theirs is safe," said Allison Kanoti, State Entomologist. "But the truth is, they could be moving destructive pests to new homes in our forests and that should be an unacceptable risk to take."
Unfortunately, the decision to move firewood can wind up costing a whole lot more than a bundle of firewood. It can even jeopardize the very reasons people spend time at a place, such as excellent wildlife habitat, rivers and lakes with clean water, or forested vistas. Maine residents should also heed the message to use local or heat-treated firewood. Pests like browntail moth and emerald ash borer can be spread to new places within the state in and on untreated firewood.
The first of 15 signs went up in Calais in September and installation is containing in conjunction with MeDOT projects. Travelers entering Maine will encounter new DACF signage at these locations: Berwick and So. Berwick, Calais, Coburn Gore, Eliot, Fort Fairfield, Fryeburg, Gilead, Houlton, Jackman, Kittery, Lebanon, Madawaska, and Porter.
Help DACF protect Maine's forests
- Leave firewood at home - use local Maine firewood
- If you have already transported firewood into Maine, burn it. Please do not leave it or bring it home.
- If you can't burn it all within 24 hours, bring it to the nearest drop-off site.
- Burn local or heat-treated firewood. Check out Firewood Scout.