Firewood quarantine proposed to keep pests out of Michigan

Associated Press

Lansing — Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has proposed a quarantine on exterior firewood to help prevent the introduction of unwanted pests and diseases into the state.

Under the proposal, firewood shipped into Michigan would have to be certified as heat treated at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) for at least 60 minutes.

Kiln-dried lumber and wood chips smaller than one inch and logs or wood shipped from out-of-state sources directly to mills and other facilities for immediate processing would be exempt.

The Asian longhorned beetle does not move long distances on its own, but firewood transportation provides an opportunity for it to spread.

The agency says more than 140 pests and diseases can be moved by firewood, including Asian long-horned beetle, mountain pine beetle and spotted lanternfly.

Harmful invasive species can hide in or on firewood and can start new infestations hundreds of miles away, said Mike Philip, Pesticide and Plant Pest Management division director.

“These infestations can be devastating and pose a serious threat to Michigan’s agriculture, natural resources and the environment,” Philip said.

Public comments are due by Nov. 19.