In 2002 emerald ash borer was discovered in southern Michigan as it destroyed millions of ash trees. Research was quickly conducted to determine how and why the spread of this beetle was so quick to cover large portions of the Midwest. APHIS determined that 75% of all infestations were in or around campgrounds and that infested firewood carried by campers was the cause. Consequently, throughout the country forest health specialists analyzed movement of firewood as a vector for dangerous insects and diseases. Here in New Hampshire the Division of Forests and Lands conducted a survey from 2006-2008 and found over 40% of campers coming from out-of-state were bringing firewood from their home. A follow up study confiscated this out-of-state wood and placed it in rearing barrels to determine what insects would emerge from the wood. From a total of 19 samples of firewood 650 insects emerged. Luckily none were the emerald ash borer or asian longhorned beetles but this study shows the incredible potential firewood has to carry pests long distances.
Today, thirty states have some type of firewood movement restrictions and most of the northern states from Maine to Wisconsin all have out-of-state quarantines. Stopping the movement of camper firewood from long distance travel is the best way to minimize the risk of accidentally carrying invasive pests to new forest regions not yet infested.
As of July, 2011 New Hampshire has banned the importation of untreated firewood without a commercial or home heating compliance agreement.
Homeowners who want to transport firewood from approved counties outside of New Hampshire can fill out and submit a Firewood Quarantine Homeowner Compliance Agreement by selecting the link on the navagation bar on the left.
Commercial operations transporting firewood from approved counties outside of New Hampshire should contact Kyle Lombard, Forest Health Program Coordinator, NH Division of Forests and Lands at 603-464-3016 or Piera Siegert, State Entomologist, NH Department of Agriculture at 271-2561 for a compliance agreement.
In addition an Emerald Ash Borer quarantine of all hardwood firewood is in effect for Belknap, Hillsborough, Merrimack, and Rockingham Counties. All untreated hardwood firewood cannot leave these counties without a compliance agreement.
NH Firewood Quarantine Map
Homeowner Compliance Agreement
Commercial Compliance Agreement
Firewood Alert Quarantine