Scott County Bans Outside Firewood

August  16, 2013

Campers beware. Bringing firewood into the Scott County is now banned by the Scott County Conservation Board. The ban took effect Wednesday to combat the spread of the deadly Emerald Ash Borer.

The Emerald Ash Borer has been moving west, and was recently cited for the first time in Iowa, including in Burlington and Fairfield. The Board's Deputy Director, Marc Miller, says outside firewood is likely the reason.

"When we register the campers," said Miller, "We know where they're from, and they have license plates on their vehicles, and then we can check and see if they brought firewood in with them. So then, if they did bring firewood in with them, they need to burn all that firewood right now if it's from out of county."

Miller says the Emerald Ash Borer would be devastating to the region. Nearly 80 percent of Scott County forests are ash trees, and they would all be decimated by the invasive species.

"You want to get hit by a tidal wave," said Miller, "Or do you want the water to come up slowly? I don't know right now if we can stave it off for longer periods of time. Then possibly they can find some natural predator to take care of the ash borer, or some other way to reduce its impact. But right now there isn't a way to do that."

Possible solutions are being investigated to combat the ash borer, including a type of wasp that could be a predator. 

Importing firewood into Scott County is now banned, unless it meets the Iowa and USDA firewood labeling requirements. All unauthorized firewood may be seized and destroyed.