As the cold weather lingers in the District, curling up by a warm, crackling fire at the end of a long day could be a luxurious way to spend the evening. This is where your choice of firewood comes into play.
Firewood can be home to invasive insects, like the Emerald Ash Borer, and funguses that can kill trees. To prevent the spread of these threats to the environment, it is important to buy wood as close as possible to where you plan to burn it.
Burning wood in a woodstove or fireplace can be a fun and economical way to heat your home or just relax as the embers pop and crackle. But having firewood transported to you from other states or counties is asking for trouble. You could unknowingly be introducing an invasive threat to your local environment. Take Prince George’s County in Maryland as an example. They have quarantine in effect after discovering Emerald Ash Borers in infested Ash trees from Michigan in 2003 to try and completely eradicate the pest from the state of Maryland.
Camping & Bonfires
As far as outdoor activities go, the same idea holds true. Camp fires and bonfires can be fun additions to outdoor excursions but can have dire consequences if the wood used is carrying unwelcome friends in the form of pests.
Quarantines are in place for most states above the Mason-Dixon Line to try and contain the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. On their own, these insects don’t get far. But when the wood they have infested is moved, it can be devastating to local forests.
As Fairfax County in Virginia advocates, don’t move wood, burn it where you buy it.
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