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Officials warn residents about bugs hiding in firewood

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OKLAHOMA CITY – While temperatures continue to fluctuate across the state, authorities are warning residents about hidden dangers associated with firewood.

Officials with Oklahoma Forestry Services are asking Oklahomans to buy firewood near the location where they will burn it to help prevent the spread of insects and diseases.

The “Promise Not to Move Firewood” campaign is focused on asking people to make a conscious decision to buy wood cut as close as possible to the location where they will burn it.

“Normally, insects can’t travel far, but when you haul firewood from one location to another, the insects that live inside the firewood are transported, sometimes hundreds of miles, and impact trees in the new location,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma State Forester. “In some parts of the country, entire forests have been lost due to firewood movement and we want to prevent that in Oklahoma.”

Officials are warning about the Emerald Ash Borer, an insect that has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees across the nation.

It has already infested trees in Colorado, Kansas and Missouri.

Authorities stress that if you have already moved firewood, you should burn it quickly. Also, make sure all twigs, leaves and bark are burned.