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Campers advised to buy wood where they camp

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WAGM) -

Officials say you should leave firewood off your list of things to pack for your next camping trip.

Mike Parisio, an entomologist with the Maine Forest Service, says firewood transported from one location to another often has unwanted pests hitching a ride. Invasive species like the Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Long-horned Beetle pose a threat to native vegetation. Parisio says while they do fly, they can be transported on firewood from an area they’ve infested.

“It doesn’t matter how far you’re traveling, you know, even if you think you’re just going locally, you know. If you can harvest, use, and purchase firewood as close to the point of where you’re gonna use it as possible, that’s really key in preventing long-distance spread, and - yeah, you can - you can watch the spread of certain insects, you know, along the - you know, throughout the nation. And, you know, they basically follow the roads, so, you know, it goes to figure that they were - they were hitchhiking in somebody’s firewood load there. So, yeah, that’s the name of the game, is to buy local, use local, and just not transport stuff,” says Mike Parisio.

Parisio says it’s best to wait until you’ve reached your destination before acquiring firewood for your campfire. By doing so, you help slow the spread of invasive species.

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