California prohibits bringing firewood into the state if it originated in an area infested with a harmful tree pest such as emerald ash borer, spotted lanternfly, Asian longhorned beetle, and/or gypsy moth. For example, moving firewood into California from most midwestern and eastern states is against the law in order to prevent the spread of emerald ash borer. Bringing firewood into California can introduce these and other invasive pests which cause immense damage to natural and agricultural resources.
Many midwestern and eastern states prohibit the movement of firewood from California into their states 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. For information specific to different parks, please see the list below.
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”.
Need to find firewood? Visit Firewood Scout to find local sellers of firewood
This summary is accurate to the best of DMF staff abilities as of 21 June 2021.
California Web Resources:
General Information and Park Specific Pages
- California Firewood Task Force, firewood.ca.gov
- Find firewood vendors in California using Firewood Scout
- Firewood Best Management Practices
- Ask These Questions When Buying Firewood
- California Border Protection Stations (FAQ)
- California Quarantine Information
- Orange County Parks Firewood Policy
- Yosemite National Park Forest Pest Information and Firewood recommendations
- US Forest Service, California Region 5, Invasive Species information
- Examples of California State Parks currently prohibiting oak firewood:
Pest Specific Information and Maps
- CA Establishes Emergency Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine, Morning AgClips article May 2021
- EAB Quarantine Info
- Goldspotted Oak Borer
- Red Imported Fire Ant California quarantine maps
- Sudden Oak Death
- Sudden Oak Death regulations and quarantine
- Sudden Oak Death in California State Parks
- Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine
- Thousand Cankers Disease information and map archives
- Invasive Shot Hole Borers (Polyphagous and Kuroshio) Information
- Invasive Shot Hole Borer Beetles killing trees in Santa Monica
- Pitch Canker
- Why the Spotted Lanternfly may be a big problem for California
- Beetles and Wildfires
- Ask a Pest Specialist
- Report a Pest in California or call the pest hotline 1-800-491-1899
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