Oregon, Washington and Idaho have been doing some great outreach and education on the topic of firewood movement over the last few years. So here's a good question from that region for our advice column...
Dear Don't Move Firewood,
We live in So. Oregon and are going to be camping in a Washington state park later this summer. Is it okay to bring dimensional lumber scraps to use as firewood; we have some cut-up pallets and some redwood from our former deck that we'd like to bring along?
I decided to take this one up with the experts, and asked Wendy Brown with the Washington Invasive Species Council. She wrote back, "Linda, thanks for your great question. If you have scrap lumber or pallets that have been lying around for a year or more, there is the potential for that material to become infested with a hitchhiker. Because of that, it's always best to "Buy it Where you Burn it." Also, wood used for decks is almost always chemically treated, and it's not a good idea for your health to burn wood that has been chemically treated."
So that's a helpful perspective- even wood that isn't right out of a tree can still have hitchhikers like moth egg cases, or contaminated dirt. Speaking of contaminated dirt- did you know that parts of Southern Oregon, where you live, have a tree disease called Sudden Oak Death? It spreads within soil and water and kills many types of trees and shrubs, especially oaks. So if those scrap lumber pieces, cut pallets, or deck redwood is being stored outside at all, it is absolutely a possible way to spread forest pests.
The bottom line is that you shouldn't bring it. Instead, please burn it this winter at home if you have a fireplace. Thanks for asking!