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When camping this fall, don’t transport firewood!

September 25, 2012

It’s officially fall. Many of us will take advantage of the moderating temperatures to plan a camping trip. Remember ­– Don’t transport firewood.

For most folks, a campfire is essential to their moonlit experience. Campers use it to cook, roast marshmallows and share stories with friends. While enjoying your peaceful night by the fire, be cautious about the firewood you use.  

Firewood can transport many harmful invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer, Sirex wood wasp, Asian longhorned beetle, and gypsy moth, as well as diseases such as beech bark disease, sudden oak death, and oak wilt. You can help to control these unwanted pests by limiting the movement of firewood, especially from out-of-state.

Across Florida, campers are encouraged to take some simple steps to help ensure the healthy future of the state’s parks and forests:

  1. Leave firewood at home and purchase aged firewood near your campsite location. Many parks offer firewood for sale at a reasonable price or private sellers will have it available just outside the park.
  2. Firewood purchased at or near your destination should be used during your camping vacation. Don’t leave any unused wood behind and don’t take it with you to another destination.
  3. If you can’t burn your wood, donate it to a fellow camper.
  4. When buying firewood, make sure you receive pieces that are dry and have either little bark or bark that is loose (a sign that the wood is very dry). Not only will this reduce the threat of spreading diseases, your fire will be easier to start.
  5. Reduce your need for an open fire by cooking over gas or charcoal when possible.

Take Home Lessons:

If you’re a camper from outside Florida, please don’t bring firewood with you.

If you’re a camper from Florida, please only use firewood from a Florida source. If possible, consider purchasing firewood from a vendor near or inside the park or forest where you’re staying.

Help protect Florida’s natural resources by following these firewood recommendations:

“Buy firewood when you reach your destination and burn it all on site”

 For more information, watch our online video http://www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/video/firewood_psa_09.wmv

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