It is against the law to bring out-of-state firewood into Colorado from areas infested with federally regulated forest pests like imported fire ant, spongy moth, 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, moving firewood from Colorado into most midwestern and eastern states is against their state laws, as this can spread forest pests like thousand cankers disease of walnut. Some western states also prohibit firewood from Colorado due to Colorado’s emerald ash borer infestation.
Rocky Mountain National Park discourages campers from bringing out-of-state firewood into the park; firewood is available at all campgrounds during the summer season. Also, if you are visiting private campgrounds, please inquire about their firewood and campfire policies before bringing wood.
Looking for a local wood supplier? Check out this 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 24 June 2021.
Colorado Web Resources
- Firewood Best Management Practices
- Top Invasive Concerns: Forest Pests, CO Parks & Wildlife
- Firewood Camping Poster
- Firewood and Forest Pest Recommendations
- Report a pest in Colorado
- CO Wood: Colorado Forest Products Database – Firewood and Fuelwood, CO Forest Service
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
Firewood Business Related Information
- Importing Firewood into Colorado, Colorado Department of Agriculture
- Summaries of External Quarantine, Colorado
- Colorado Forest Action Plan 2020
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