Is it safe to take firewood on a camping trip?


ADIRONDACK PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The weather’s nice, and the trees are full of leaves. It’s hiking season in the Adirondacks, which means it’s also camping season. If you’re planning to set up a campfire, there are many important things to know – and they go beyond where to light the match.

The Adirondack Mountain Club and the Don’t Move Firewood campaign are urging Adirondack campers to take caution when carrying logs along a trail with the intent of using them to start a campfire. Campers should consider how far they are planning to travel, and find out where their firewood was harvested.

The groups advise against moving untreated firewood more than 50 miles from where it was harvested. Firewood transport is a known method for invasive species to reach new places. The Adirondack Mountain Club highlighted the spongy moth, spotted lanternfly and emerald ash borer as species of particular concern to the Adirondacks.

They’re right; last summer, the spongy moth population exploded around Lake George, keeping trees bare on Prospect Mountain and along a stretch of the Northway for much of the summer. A repeat this year largely depends on the amount of rain the Adirondacks get in the coming days and weeks. The emerald ash borer, which threatens ash trees, was named by the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program earlier in 2022 as having shown up in two new places in the Adirondack Park in 2021.

Those seeking firewood are advised to buy local, within a close area of where it will be burned. Those selling firewood should provide documentation of the wood’s original source location, or of heat treatment.

According to the Don’t Move Firewood campaign, properly heat-treated firewood – which can travel beyond the 50-mile limit – includes wood that has been treated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 75 minutes. Often, treated firewood will be sold with a label reading “New York Approved Heat-Treated Firewood/Pest Free,” and will include the name and address from which it came.

The campaign also notes that it is prohibited to move firewood between the U.S. and Canada, in either direction. In Long Island, the Asian longhorned beetle has found a home in some areas. It is illegal to move firewood out of or within infested areas in that region.


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