It is against the law to bring out-of-state firewood into Colorado from areas infested with regulated forest pests like imported fire ant, spongy moth, spotted lanternfly, and Asian longhorned beetle. To protect Colorado’s urban and native trees from harmful invasive pests, the Colorado Firewood Task Force recommends people use firewood originating from Colorado whenever possible. Colorado state authorities provide the following additional recommendations for firewood users to help prevent the spread of damaging forest pests:
- Use local firewood both for home heating and camping uses
- When harvesting, make sure to cut, debark, and dry the firewood
- Buy firewood at or near the campground
Additionally, firewood should not be taken out of Colorado to prevent the further spread of harmful forest pests and diseases like emerald ash borer and thousand cankers disease of walnut.
Parks and campgrounds often have their own firewood rules. For e.g., Rocky Mountain National Park asks that visitors purchase firewood in or near the park to avoid introducing harmful insects; firewood is available at all campgrounds during the summer season. Call ahead to find out the firewood rules at your destination before traveling with firewood.
Looking for a local firewood supplier? Check out the Colorado Forest Products Database
(Note: Open fires are not allowed at most of Colorado’s National Wildlife Refuges. National Parks, Forests, and preserves often have fire restrictions when wildfire risk is high. Visit the website of your destination or ask campground staff for the most current information.)
This summary is accurate to the best of DMF staff abilities as of 2 September 2022.
Colorado Web Resources
- Top Invasive Concerns: Forest Pests, CO Parks & Wildlife
- Firewood and Forest Pest Recommendations
- Report a pest in Colorado
- CO Wood: Colorado Forest Products Database – Firewood and Fuelwood, CO Forest Service
- Importing Firewood into Colorado, Colorado Department of Agriculture
- Summaries of External Quarantine, Colorado
- Your Guide to Colorado State Parks, CO Parks & Wildlife
Pest Specific Information
- Asian longhorned beetle information, USDA APHIS
- Emerald ash borer information, Colorado Department of Agriculture
- Emerald Ash Borer on the Move Along Front Range, Colorado Forest Service article 2021
- European spongy moth information, USDA APHIS
- Imported fire ant information, USDA APHIS
- Spruce beetle still most damaging for Colorado, news article 2021
- Spotted lanternfly information, Colorado Department of Agriculture
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