Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Help Protect Virginia Forests When Purchasing Firewood This Winter

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides guidance for residents when purchasing firewood (Photo by Lum3n from Pexels)

STATEWIDE — That all too familiar smell of wood smoke has begun and thus beckoning colder temperatures around the Historic Triangle. Before you head to the store to purchase firewood, here are some things you need to know in order to protect Virginia’s forests during this season.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has advised state residents to always purchase firewood close to the place in which they plan to burn it. The reason for this is that trees can suffer from tree-killing invasive insect species as well as diseases that, if transported over distances, can introduce these species and diseases could be introduced to a new area in which they may not currently exist.

Additionally, the VDACS advises residents to check local, state, and federal laws regarding transporting wood across localities as it could be illegal to do so.

Residents should remember the following guidelines when purchasing firewood this year:

  • Buy firewood near where you plan to burn it
  • Gather firewood on site only when permitted to do so
  • Look for a state or federal seal which certifies it heat-treated firewood
  • Only purchase firewood from a retailer who is in compliance with local or state firewood regulations.

For more information on invasive species and diseases that impact the forests in Virginia, click here to visit the website for VDACS’s Plant Industry Services.

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