Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer, thousands of Iowa will be camping and building campfires. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages campers to buy firewood from where they will burn it instead of bringing it from home.
“Moving unseasoned firewood around the state can threaten the health of our forests by spreading insects like emerald ash borer (EAB) that live in firewood,” explains Tivon Feeley, DNR Forest Health forester.
EAB is a small, metallic-green, invasive wood-boring beetle native to east Asia that attacks and kills ash trees. It attacks trees of any size, age, or stage of health.
The spread of EAB into uninfected areas has been primarily through people moving firewood from county to county or state to state. “These pests don’t move far on their own, but they can travel hundreds of miles in a single day in contaminated firewood,” said Feeley.
Plenty of firewood is available locally near state and county parks. Simply ask a park ranger or campground host for local firewood availability. Make sure to burn all of the firewood at the campsite and not leave it or transport to a new area.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship requires all firewood sold or acquired in Iowa to have the county and state of harvest location on the label of packages and the delivery ticket for bulk firewood.
Find more information about emerald ash borer and the reasons not move firewood online at www.iowadnr.gov/eab.