California prohibits the entry of out-of-state firewood if it originated in an area infested with a harmful tree pest such as emerald ash borer, spotted lanternfly, Asian longhorned beetle, spongy moth, and others. Bringing firewood into California can introduce these and other invasive pests which cause immense damage to natural and agricultural resources. All firewood brought into the state is subject to inspection and will be confiscated if deemed a risk by authorities.
Many midwestern and eastern states also prohibit the entry of firewood from California since this can spread forest pests like thousand cankers disease of walnut. Because California has existing regional infestations of regulated pests like the red imported fire ant, sudden oak death, and light brown apple moth, it is against the law to move firewood out of, or within, most western counties of the state. Many parts of southern California have additional forest pests that can be accidentally moved on firewood, including goldspotted oak borer and invasive shot hole borers.
California’s National Parks, State Parks, and some County Parks prohibit cutting or collecting firewood within parks and instead encourage visitors to buy local or heat-treated firewood. “Local” firewood refers to firewood sourced within 50 miles of where it is burned, but within 10 miles is ideal. Find out the firewood policy at your destination before bringing firewood.
Due to the risks and regulations involved with moving firewood, the State Department of Agriculture and the US Forest Service Region 5 ask that you “buy it where you burn it”.
This summary is accurate to the best of DMF staff abilities as of 13 September 2023.
Need to find firewood? Visit Firewood Scout to find local sellers of firewood
California Web Resources:
- California Firewood Task Force, firewood.ca.gov
- Find firewood vendors in California using Firewood Scout
- Firewood Best Management Practices
- California Border Protection Stations (FAQ)
- Quarantines in California Information
- Orange County Parks Firewood Policy
- Yosemite National Park Forest Pest Information and Firewood recommendations
- US Forest Service, California Region 5, Invasive Species information
- Ask a Pest Specialist
- Examples of California State Parks currently prohibiting oak firewood:
Pest Specific Information
- Emerald Ash Borer Emergency Quarantine Press Release
- Goldspotted Oak Borer
- Pitch Canker
- Red Imported Fire Ant Info
- Invasive Shot Hole Borers (Polyphagous and Kuroshio) Information
- Sudden Oak Death regulations and quarantine
- Sudden Oak Death in California State Parks
- Spotted Lanternfly Information
- Thousand Cankers Disease information and map archives
- Report a Pest in California or call the pest hotline 1-800-491-1899
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