Authorities from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) strongly urge that untreated firewood be used near where it was cut and ask that you never move firewood from an area under quarantine for insects or diseases. Transporting firewood is how invasive pests often move from one area to another and move greater distances than they would in natural dispersal. Emerald ash borer was detected in Delaware County, OK in 2016 and this year in three new counties, Carter, Choctaw, and McCurtain; it is also increasing in nearby states. Much of this new infestation is due to movement of infested wood – you can help slow the spread!
It is a violation of state law to bring untreated firewood into Oklahoma from any quarantined areas. Pests of high concern include Spotted Lanternfly, Asian Longhorn Beetle, Imported Fire Ant, Emerald Ash Borer, Spongy Moth, Thousand Cankers Disease of Black Walnut, and Sudden Oak Death. These and other harmful tree pests are known to spread to new areas on firewood and can cause irreversible damage to forests.
The southern third of Oklahoma is already included in the federally regulated red imported fire ant quarantine. Hay, sod, nursery plants and large loads of firewood should not be taken out of the following Oklahoma counties without treatment or a compliance agreement: Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Choctaw, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Garvin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Latimer, Le Flore, Love, Marshall, McCurtain, Murray, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Stephens, and Tillman.
Oklahoma’s Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry (ODAFF) and the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region provide the following firewood recommendations so you can help prevent the spread of forest pests:
- Cut or buy firewood from local sources
- Do not move firewood more than 50 miles from where it was sourced
- Avoid transporting firewood from your home to campgrounds or parks and vice versa
- If you bring outside firewood to a campground, burn it all before leaving
Oklahoma State Parks strongly discourage the use of firewood from outside the park. Instead, buy firewood at or near your destination or check with the park staff or park manager to determine if collecting firewood from the forest floor is permissible.
This summary is accurate to the best of DMF staff abilities as of 17 November 2023.
Oklahoma Web Resources:
- Oklahoma Tree Insect and Disease Issues, ODAFF
- Firewood Information, US Forest Service Southern Region
- Tree and Forest Health, Oklahoma Forestry Services
- State Park FAQ’s
- Pest Quarantines, ODAFF
- Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostics Lab, Oklahoma State University (OSU)
- OSU County Extension Service
Pest Specific Information
- Spongy Moth Federal Quarantine Map
- Emerald Ash Borer Infestation Map
- Thousand Cankers Disease Maps Listing
- Imported Fire Ant Interactive Quarantine Map
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