DEC reminds campers to use local firewood

Published May 25, 2018 at 4:00pm

With the start of camping season, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is reminding campers that the New York State firewood regulation is still in effect.

Untreated firewood may contain invasive pests that kill trees, and to protect New York’s forests, it may not be moved more than 50 miles from its source or origin.

“Everyone loves sitting around the campfire on a summer evening, but I urge campers to leave untreated firewood at home,” said Commissioner Seggos.“Using local firewood is an easy way to help protect our forests from invasive insects and diseases such as the Asian longhorned beetle and oak wilt.”

Homeowners should not move firewood from trees that died on their property for use while camping. Moving untreated firewood is one of the main ways tree-killing invasive pests hitch rides to new areas, spreading these pests faster and farther than they would have on their own. A variety of invasive species can be transported on firewood, from wood boring beetles and defoliators to fungi and diseases.

The New York State firewood regulation:

  • Prohibits untreated firewood from being brought into New York from other areas;
  • Prohibits untreated firewood grown in the state from being transported more than 50 miles from its source or origin; and
  • When transporting firewood, documentation of the source, origin, or treatment is required.

Anyone who cuts firewood for personal use is required to fill out a Self-Issued Certificate of Origin, available on DEC’s website. Producers of untreated firewood for sale must obtain wood grown within 50 miles of their business, but may then declare the business as the source of the firewood. Examples of the source documentation are also available on DEC’s website. Consumers purchasing untreated firewood should make sure the source is clearly labeled to know how far the wood may be transported.

Firewood that meets the state’s heat treatment standard (160 degrees F core temperature for 75 minutes) and is labeled “New York-Approved Heat Treated/Pest Free,” can be moved without restriction. Kiln-dried only means the wood was heated to dry it out so it will burn well, but it may not have reached 160 degrees F for 75 minutes. Purchasers of heat-treated firewood are encouraged to look for the appropriate label indicating the wood meets the standard.

For more information, visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/28722.html or call the Division of Lands and Forests Information Line toll free 1-866-640-0652.