Chasing after the eclipse? Leave tree pests behind…

On Monday April 8th 2024, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible in a roughly 115 mile wide swath (called the path of totality) crossing North America as it passes over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Millions of travelers are expected to camp out over the weekend so they can be in the best viewing area on Monday to see the amazing spectacle of a complete solar eclipse. The Nature Conservancy is asking everyone that plans to use firewood for the solar eclipse celebration weekend to buy local firewood near their destination, bring packaged certified heat-treated firewood, or gather their firewood responsibly on site if permitted by the campground or landowner.

“Make smart choices for your solar eclipse party; drink plenty of water, bring extra solar eclipse glasses, and buy or collect local firewood.” says Leigh Greenwood, Don’t Move Firewood campaign manager for The Nature Conservancy. “Your firewood choices during this solar eclipse celebration can prevent the spread of forest insects and diseases like the emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, spongy moth, and others on potentially infested wood.”

The path of the eclipse will cross into North America starting in Mexico, enter into the United States in Texas, and traveling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Some parts of Tennessee and Michigan will experience the total solar eclipse as well. State and federal agencies in these areas are preparing to welcome hundreds of thousands of additional tourists arriving just prior to the eclipse. Many of these states have regulations that affect the movement of firewood either INTO their states (to protect against new pest introductions) or OUT of their states (to prevent the further spread of existent pest infestations).

A prime example of a hitchhike pest that could easily spread as people travel out of quarantined areas is the spotted lanternfly. See the pictures below to compare the path of totality with a map of known infestation. Spotted lanternfly eggs blend in incredibly well with things like firewood.

Screenshot of NASA’s Eclipse Explorer. Visit
Reported spotted lanternfly distribution.
Spotted lanternfly egg masses on stump.

Many states and provinces in the path of the eclipse have regulations on the movement of firewood, with rules varying greatly according to local jurisdictions and pest situations. Some states, parks, and campgrounds prohibit the entry of outside firewood unless it is packaged with a certified stamp of heat treatment. Call ahead to check on your specific campground, or find state and federal regulations at the Don’t Move Firewood map, found at

Following are tips from the Don’t Move Firewood campaign:

  • Get your firewood as near as possible to where you will burn it!
  • The trees cut for firewood in your backyard or town often died due to insects or diseases. Don’t spread pests such as the emerald ash borer – don’t move firewood. Instead, buy it where you’ll burn it, buy certified heat treated firewood, or gather firewood on site if permitted.
  • Aged or seasoned wood is not considered safe to move, as some pests can infest stacked firewood at any time. Certified heat treated bundled firewood is a safer option if you must transport firewood.
  • Firewood cannot be deemed safe just by looking at it. Even firewood that looks “clean” could still harbor tiny insect eggs or microscopic fungal spores that could start a new and deadly infestation of forest pests.
  • Tell your friends and others about the risks of moving firewood – no one wants to be responsible for starting a new pest infestation.

For more information on the 2024 solar eclipse, see here:

For DMF digital graphics with eclipse art:


NOTE TO OUR PARTNERS IN FIREWOOD EDUCATION: This blog was written with the express intent of providing ideas and quotes that you can use in your own outreach efforts. You are free to use portions of this blog for your own needs in firewood education. Please do not alter any part of the three direct quotes without prior written permission. Please refer to the Don’t Move Firewood campaign in your release, and include either,, or as a reference. If you have questions about attribution, please email the Don’t Move Firewood staff via our Contact Us page.