EDITORIAL: Get firewood locally this summer

State environmental agencies are urging Connecticut residents to leave firewood at home this summer.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station are asking residents to help prevent the introduction and spread of destructive wood pests, like the Asian longhorned beetle, by buying and burning firewood near their vacation or camping destination.

“Harmful forest insects often spend a portion of their life cycle as larvae inside the trunk and branches of trees and folks transporting infested firewood from one location to another may unknowingly move insect pests,” said Robert Klee, DEEP commissioner.

“Purchasing firewood locally rather than transporting it from home is a best management practice that reduces the risk of spread of these destructive pests,” Klee said.

The Asian longhorned beetle is currently the greatest — but not the only — threat to the trees of Connecticut. Danger also is posed by the emerald ash borer, another beetle.

Legal restrictions on firewood

As a result of the presence of the emerald ash borer throughout much of Connecticut, there are restrictions on moving untreated firewood out of state to New York and Rhode Island.

Most New England state campgrounds and National Forest and Park campgrounds prohibit out-of state firewood. In addition to firewood confiscation, violators could face steep fines.

People should purchase all firewood near their camp or seasonal home destination instead of bringing it from home, and then burn all that wood on-site and not carry it back home with them.