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State officials remind campers to use local firewood to stop spread of pests

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MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - State officials are reminding campers and people heading out into the woods to keep their firewood local to prevent the spread of tree diseases and pest.

Forest health specialist Andrea Diss-Torrance says using local wood can help save the trees where you camp. "If the wood was cut nearby, you probably aren't bringing anything into the area that you don't already have, so it's a precautionary measure." The DNR says the firewood you bring to your camps should either been from within 25 miles of where you're camping, or specially treated in order to ensure it's not harmful.

Diss-Torrance says the next best thing to local wood is wood that's been certified pest free by a processor. "The wood is being treated in such a way that makes it no longer suitable for the insects and diseases that live in a living tree, and that's the important thing because we don't want the firewood transmitting these problems." That includes the well known emerald ash borer beetle, as well as oak wilt which has been known to spread in central Wisconsin.

Most state parks and forests have local firewood available for sale on site that meets certifications. If you have more questions, head to the DNR's website and search the keyword “firewood” or call 1-877-303-WOOD (9663).

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