HARRISBURG – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that out-of-state firewood producers now have two additional treatment options for exempting their firewood products from a quarantine meant to keep harmful invasive species from entering Pennsylvania: heat treatment and fumigation.
“Invasive species can have a damaging effect on Pennsylvania’s hardwoods industry, which is valued at $17 billion,” said Redding. “Preventative measures are critical to slowing and stopping the spread of these destructive plant pests. That’s why we’re using every means possible to protect against these destructive intruders and safeguard an important industry for our state.”
The 2007 firewood quarantine was issued to prevent the spread of exotic invasive species like the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, Sirex Wood Wasp and Bark Beetles that have entered the United States.
Under the firewood quarantine, the commonwealth prohibits moving any type or species of firewood into Pennsylvania. Firewood includes all processed or unprocessed, coniferous or hardwood products meant for use in a campfire or other outdoor or indoor fire. Initially, firewood marked “kiln-dried” and/or “USDA Certified” was the only exempt firewood. The addition of heat-treated and fumigated firewood provides more options for campers and producers.
The exemptions also apply to a separate quarantine that bans the movement of all non-coniferous firewood from within the 11 counties confirmed to have the Emerald Ash Borer: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Indiana, Juniata, Lawrence, Mercer, Mifflin, Washington and Westmoreland.
“As we move into the spring and summer months when traveling and camping activities reach their peak, we urge the public, commercial firewood dealers and retail firewood sellers to heed these quarantines,” said Redding. “Residents and visitors should use only locally harvested firewood, burn all of the firewood on-site, and not carry it to new locations.”