“Keeping our forests healthy and productive is everyone’s responsibility. You can help by not moving firewood from our county into another county or vice versa. There are pests and diseases which have the potential to devastate our local forests, leaving in their wake hundreds or thousands or even tens of thousands of dead and dying trees,” said Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire who added, “you can end up transporting pests and/or diseases without ever knowing it. Often times they are not visible which means you can end up spreading pests and diseases if you buy and move firewood from outside our county.”
Cal Fire and the California Firewood Task Force are asking members of the general public to buy or cut firewood locally where they plan to burn it, “Buy It Where You Burn It.” Additionally, if you plan on camping and travelling outside the area, get your firewood from the area you are going to, do not transport wood from your backyard as you may be spreading diseases and pests. Remember to leave unburned firewood where you bought it.
Examples of insects and diseases that can affect our area are:
• The Goldspotted Oak Borer (an invasive beetle in San Diego County likely brought into the state on firewood) has killed tens of thousands of oak trees all over San Diego County since 2004 when it was first found.
• Sudden Oak Death is a disease found on the California coast and as far east as Solano County and has killed tanoaks and other oak species from British Columbia to California.
• Pine Pitch Canker is a disease affecting pine trees (Grey Pines and Douglas Fir and threatening commercial species such as Sugar Pine and Ponderosa Pine) and has been found along most of the California coast encompassing over 23 million acres.
For more on the “Buy It Where You Burn It” campaign, please visit firewood.ca.gov.