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Firewood movement is a major pathway for the introduction of invasive pests, most likely insects and pathogens, to new ecosystems. Such pests can hide in firewood processed from healthy or diseased trees. Invasive pests can burrow into trees that then become firewood. Many insect pests can survive in firewood, some for more than three years. When the firewood moves, the pests move without the transporter knowing to uninfested areas. Untreated firewood can also harbor other types of insects and diseases that can greatly harm trees and shrubs. Most invasive insects only can travel a few miles on their own, but they can be moved hundreds of miles in or on firewood.

Remember to source your firewood locally! Definitions of local firewood vary as “local” firewood is not a defined or consistent term. Firewood regulations throughout the country vary; state regulations are most often either defined as a set distance (typically 10, 25, or 50 miles) or as a specified geographical area defined by a county, state, or regulated area. Unfortunately figuring out where to buy firewood, varies greatly by region. Some state Departments of Forestry or Agriculture maintain an online directory of approved dealers. Twelve states list their vendors on Firewood Scout, a cooperative firewood vendor locating website. See Find Firewood Near You (, which is a community-focused project created by avid campers that gives folks access to a user-generated firewood map which shows reliable places to find firewood. Unfortunately, some states and areas have no online information.

Image created by Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Shared, with permission, by Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry on October 7, 2021 via Facebook.

Learn more about What You Can Do and How They Spread to help stop them from USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Hungry Pests outreach campaign.


  • Firewood Transport as a Vector of Forest Pest Dispersal in North America: A Scoping Review

    • Feb 2021
    • Cornell University. New York Invasive Species Research Institute.

    • A cozy campfire for summer days, a warm fireplace for winter evenings– the use of firewood is an "established cultural norm". However, moving firewood from place to place can have devastating consequences, as it can spread forest pests that decimate forests to collectively cost an estimated $4.2 – $14.4 billion per year. In order to better address the problem of people moving firewood and vectoring forest pests, Solano and colleagues examined trends and gaps in the existing literature on firewood and human-mediated forest pest movement in North America. The existing literature demonstrates the risk of firewood movement, but fails to address the level of awareness the public has on such risks, or the level of effectiveness of firewood regulations to prevent forest pest spread.

  • Firewood

    • USDA. Animal and Plant and Health Inspection Service.

    • Whether used to heat your home or build a campfire, firewood is a must-have item for millions of Americans. However, firewood also presents a very real threat to the Nation's forests. Invasive species including the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the emerald ash borer (EAB), and spongy moth can be spread into new areas of the country on firewood.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
  • Campaigns - Buy It Where You Burn It

    • Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.

  • Don't Move Firewood - Firewood Hitchhikers Campaign

    • Oregon Invasive Species Council.

    • In 2010, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho launched a tri-state outreach campaign to inform the public about the dangers of moving firewood to Pacific Northwest forests. The campaign, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, closely followed the messaging of the national Don't Move Firewood campaign, which recommends buy firewood that was cut locally, preferably within the county or region of where it will be burned. The tri-state outreach campaign, Buy It Where You Burn It, encouraged good campfire practices with branded posters, billboards, and playing cards located at rest stops and state parks.

  • Strategies Identified for Successful Outreach to Reduce the Spread of Forest Pests on Firewood

    • Aug 1, 2022
    • Nature Conservancy. Don't Move Firewood.

    • Collaborative study determines effective messengers, language choices, and modes of delivery for disseminating educational information on how firewood choices can impact forest health. A recent study done in collaboration between The Nature Conservancy’s Don’t Move Firewood campaign and researchers from Clemson University showed that most people in the U.S. don’t know firewood can harbor invasive forest insects and diseases, but when targeted education materials are used effectively, they can learn and are likely to change their behavior.

  • Don't Move Firewood

    • Nature Conservancy.

    • The Don’t Move Firewood campaign is an outreach partnership managed by The Nature Conservancy. The overarching goal of the campaign is to protect trees and forests all across North America from invasive insects and diseases that can travel in or on contaminated firewood. The central tenet of the Don’t Move Firewood campaign is that everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread of invasive tree killing insects and diseases, through making better informed firewood choices. For more information on how you can do your part, please see Frequently Asked Questions.

      • Firewood Month Toolkit -- During Firewood Month (October), reduce firewood movement to slow the spread of forest pests and diseases via the firewood pathway.
      • Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Weed Toolkit -- During Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (May 19-26, 2024) everyone is encouraged to take a few minutes to learn about the signs and symptoms of emerald ash borer infestation on ash trees so that the infestations can be better managed by local tree professionals and foresters.
  • Don't Move Firewood - Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Toolkit

    • Nature Conservancy.

    •  Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is in May each year. Provides outreach materials for EAB EAB Awareness Week.

  • Don't Move Firewood - Toolbox

  • Firewood Scout

    • Sustainable Resources Institute.

    • This site was initially created by the Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation and Development Council through funding from the USDA Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center. In 2019, Firewood Scout's management and operations were transferred to the Sustainable Resources Institute, a non profit corporation specializing in natural resource research, education, training and certification. Today, Firewood Scout continues to add new partnering states and to spread the message of "Buy your firewood where you plan to burn it!"

  • National Plant Board Firewood Working Group Guidelines

    • National Plant Board.

    • In an attempt to limit the transfer of pests across state lines in firewood, these guidelines provide information on the process of drafting new or revising current state-based regulations pertaining to firewood, share case studies of states that have already approached firewood quarantines, provide examples of strategies beyond regulation that could enhance a state’s overall response to the firewood pathway, and give selected recommendations or examples within these strategies.

Federal Government
State and Local Government