Camping season is getting underway and environmental officials say outdoor enthusiasts should bear in mind some regulations when it comes to firewood.

Environmental Natural Resource Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Broome County, Kevin Mather says the issue is not just with Ash trees hiding the invasive Emerald Ash Borer Beetle but the list is growing with other types of trees possibly hiding destructive invaders.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Recently, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officials reported the spread northward of the Asian Longhorn Beetle that has been killing varieties of maple trees on Long Island and in the Albany area.

Mather says the Ash borer just last year was positively identified in Broome and Tioga Counties and there were reports of the pest that is wiping out ash groves in northern Pennsylvania.

Mather says, unless you are an expert on identifying tree species from the bark of felled wood, it is hard to know what kind of logs you may be looking to transport to a residential wood pile or campsite.

Transporting any wood further than 50 miles from where the tree is felled is prohibited in New York and, Mather says, firewood can not be taken over state lines even if the tree dropped less than 50 miles from the border.

Mathers has a little advice for campers in New York State: the DEC has a page on their website where the name of a campground can be entered and a map will show the acceptable area for purchasing firewood near the campground.  The feature can also provide some information about certain specific campgrounds in a targeted region.

Also remember, while campfires are allowed, campers should be aware of dry and windy conditions to avoid brush and wild fires and the state-wide ban on open burning of brush is in effect until at least May 14.

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