CAMINO — Cal Fire and the California Firewood Task Force are asking for the public’s help in preventing the devastating effects of non-native forest pests and diseases on our trees.
The “Buy It Where You Burn It” campaign is reminding everyone to cut or buy firewood locally and use it locally. Additionally, if you plan on camping and traveling outside the area, get your firewood from the area where you are going; do not transport wood from your backyard as you may be spreading diseases and pests and remember to leave unburned firewood where you bought it.
“Keeping our forests healthy and productive is everyone’s responsibility. You can help by not moving firewood from our county into another county or vice versa. There are pests and diseases which have the potential to devastate our local forests, leaving in its wake hundreds or thousands or even tens of thousands of dead and dying trees” cautioned Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire. “You can end up transporting them without ever knowing it because often times they are not visible to people which means you can end up spreading pests (insects) and diseases if you buy and move firewood from outside our county.”
Examples of insects and diseases that have affected other areas of the California and potentially may affect our area:
• The Goldspotted Oak Borer (an invasive beetle in San Diego County likely brought into the state on firewood) has killed tens of thousands of oak trees all over San Diego County since 2004 when it was first found.
• Sudden Oak Death is a disease found on the California coast and as far east as Solano County and has killed tanoaks and other oak species from British Columbia, Canada to Monterey County.
• Pine Pitch Canker is a disease (fungus) affecting Monterey and Bishop pine trees. However most western pine species including commercial species such as Sugar Pine and Ponderosa Pine are susceptible. Pitch Canker has been found along most of the California coast encompassing an area larger than 23 million acres.
For more on the Buy It Where You Burn It campaign visit firewood.ca.gov.