Firewood Firewood Firewood

Buy it where you burn it

Be aware that firewood can harbor insects and diseases that threaten California's valuable forest resources. Transporting firewood can move these pests to new locations.


Protect Trees - Don't Move Firewood

  1. Buy firewood where you'll burn it.
  2. Buy only what you'll need and burn responsibly.
  3. Tell your friends not to move firewood.
When you move firewood, you can accidentally move insects and diseases that kill trees.

Many communities around the USA and Canada have seen this happen in their own backyards - what starts as a few dead trees can quickly turn into a whole neighborhood or forest riddled with dying trees.

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Trees, Pests, and People
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    Firewood Postcard

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California Firewood Task Force

Visit the Firewood Scout Pilot Program Website

California is participating in the national “Firewood Scout” program this summer in an effort to assist consumers in buying firewood local to where they will be burning it. The website offers information on invasive species of concern in California as well as a set of questions consumers can ask to help assure the wood being purchased is low-risk for insects and diseases. The website is especially useful in its mobile form for on-the-go travelers using their smartphones to identify where local firewood distributors are in a given area. Movement of firewood long distances can help spread harmful invasive species. Firewood Scout will help keep wood local and keep residents and visitors of California “Buying It Where They Burn It.”

If you are a firewood vendor who sells to the public and you are interested in participating in the “Firewood Scout” program, please contact California Firewood Task Force Chair Katie Harrell at

arrow Visit the Firewood Scout Program Website

California's Trees

Campground Resource Links (Photo by Ed Williams)

California's trees are at risk from insects and diseases that can move on firewood. In San Diego County alone, tens of thousands of oak trees have been killed due to the Goldspotted Oak Borer, an insect researchers believe was initially brought to California on infested firewood. Other dangerous tree pests, such as the Emerald Ash Borer, have been found on firewood at California's borders.

ALERT: If you work with the public and can help us get our message out, we have supplies to share, free of charge! Contact Janice Alexander at or (415) 473-3041 for posters, postcards, tattoos and more!

arrow Firewood Movement - A Threat to California's Forests? (PDF)
arrow Best Management Practices
arrow Reducing Ecological Risks Associated with Pests in Firewood: Guidance for Park Managers - National Park Service (PDF)


Recent drought stress has led to a large increase in tree mortality caused by native beetles. Remember these insects can also be moved in firewood.

The problem with moving firewood

Buy It Where You Burn It

Why is moving firewood such a bad idea? Tree-killing insects and diseases can lurk in firewood. These insects and diseases can't move far on their own, but when people move firewood they can jump hundreds of miles. New infestations destroy our forests, property values, and cost huge sums of money to control.

arrow Moving Firewood Can Spread Invasive Species - Questions and Answers

About Us

California Forest Pest Council

In November 2010, the California Forest Pest Council approved a Resolution to create a California Firewood Task Force. States across the country have taken similar steps to limit the movement of firewood in an effort to slow the spread of tree pests, and a new National Firewood Task Force has formed to address risks associated with firewood movement.

Stop Invasive Species

Emerald Ash Borer

Specific pests that may be transported via firewood in California:

Moving firewood can bring invasive pests to the campsites you love.

questions and answers on Moving Baled Hay From Areas Under Quarantine for Imported Fire Ant


March 24, 2017 - Imported fire ants can harm agriculture and injure animals and people with their painful stings and venom. These invasive pests can move to new, non-infested areas by hitchhiking on agricultural commodities, including baled hay. To prevent that from happening, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has established quarantine areas where we know imported fire ant colonies exist.

While some hay produced in these areas is prohibited from moving outside of the quarantine zone, most hay can move without restriction. This factsheet offers some simple steps that hay growers and suppliers inside an imported fire ant quarantine area can take to ensure their product moves quickly and easily to where it’s needed by farmers and livestock.

Other State and National Resources