Center for Environmental Reporting


Camping season is officially underway. This summer, while visiting the outdoor recreation areas you love, do your part to protect California by buying and burning local firewood.

“Campfires are an essential part of camping for most of us,” says Don Owen, chairman of the California Firewood Task Force. “What many people don’t realize, though, is that they may be moving harmful insects and plant pathogens from forest to forest if they transport firewood.  Sometimes these pests can take hold in a new area and have devastating impacts to trees, our natural resources, and local communities.”

Burn buyA simple solution to not spreading unwanted insects and diseases, like the goldspotted oak borer, Sudden Oak Death, or emerald ash borer, is to buy firewood from a local source in close proximity to your destination, and leave any unused firewood onsite for the next camper to enjoy.  Just remember, “Buy it where you burn it.”

For more information on the risks of moving firewood, California’s keeping firewood local campaign, or the California Firewood Task Force, click hereThe California Firewood Task Force is a non-profit subcommittee of the California Forest Pest Council.  It is a coalition of agencies, organizations, and other stakeholders working to protect the State’s urban and wildland forests and natural environments from invasive pests that can be moved on firewood.

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