BEND, OR -- Central Oregonians are urged to "buy local" this winter, when it comes to firewood. Oregon's Department of Agriculture issued warnings this week against importing firewood from outside the region because of the threat posed by invasive species. Helmuth Rogg with the ODA says most of those pests come from the east coast. "We're talking about what we call exotic wood borers, so those are bark beetles, those are Ambrosia beetles, these are tiny little beetles that can kill trees here in Oregon if they get on the loose."
The Oregon Legislature passed a firewood law in 2011, authorizing the ODA to create rules prohibiting the spread of invasive species. Rogg says those who buy commercial firewood need to look for the "heat Treated" label, "So, if it's a commercial company that's selling firewood into Oregon, they have to heat treat that firewood 60-minutes at 60-degrees celsius to potentially kill the pests that are hitching a ride on that firewood."
He says local firewood does often contain insects, but native bugs don't pose a risk to our forests.