Bringing firewood into Alaska puts the forests at risk due to invasive tree pests that often hide within the wood. Many visitors to Alaska live in areas infested with harmful forest pests including emerald ash borer, spongy moth, and mountain pine beetle. Also, since Alaska has ongoing outbreaks of the highly destructive spruce beetle in the Southcentral region, authorities at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) provide several recommendations for firewood users designed to prevent and reduce the risk of transporting pests:
- Don’t bring firewood into or out of the state
- Purchase or collect firewood (if allowed) near your destination
- Leave unused firewood behind; do not transport it to a new location
- Report unusual or suspect insects immediately to the UAF Cooperative Extension Service
Public and private parks in Alaska often have their own firewood rules or restrictions. Some Alaska State Parks sell firewood on-site, otherwise, you should bring local firewood or collect dead and downed wood within the parks. Authorities at Denali and Glacier Bay national parks encourage visitors to use the firewood that is available for purchase at their campgrounds. Also, the Kenai NWR recommends camp stoves over campfires but allows for the collection of dead and downed wood on-site. Be sure to find out the rules at your destination before bringing firewood; when in doubt, buy it where you burn it.
Bringing firewood from Canada into the USA is prohibited unless the firewood is labeled and certified heat-treated. Read about these requirements on the USDA and CBP firewood information sheet.
Bringing firewood from the USA into Canada is prohibited unless the firewood is labeled and certified heat-treated. Canada also encourages visitors to use local firewood.
This summary is accurate to the best of DMF staff abilities as of 3 October 2023.
Alaska Web Resources:
- Insects, Invasives, and Firewood, University of Alaska Fairbanks
- Alaska Invasive Species Partnership Home Page
- How to Report Invasive Species, Alaska Invasive Species Partnership
- Forest Health Hot Topics, Alaska Division of Forestry
- Firewood on State Lands, Alaska Department of Forestry
- Harvesting Wood, UAF Cooperative Extension
- Alaska Division of Forestry Firewood Permit Page
- Hungry Pests, Alaska
- Chugach National Forest Firewood Information Page
- Spruce Bark Beetle Information, Alaska Department of Natural Resources
- Current Spruce Beetle Status and Damage In Alaska (see links for maps), USFS
- Insects and Diseases of Alaskan Forests
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