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Moving firewood is more dangerous than ever during holiday

Ag Communications
By Jennifer Stewart
June 25, 2007

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Moving firewood has become more dangerous than ever this Fourth of July holiday season. Aside from the normal risks posed by campfires, campers who move firewood have the potential to spread emerald ash borer to new locations - which could potentially lead to the deaths of ash trees.

"The Fourth of July often brings a lot of campers and bonfires," said Jodie Ellis, Purdue University entomologist. "Because emerald ash borer is active right now, it is more important than ever that people refrain from moving firewood from place to place."

Instead of moving firewood, Ellis said it is best for people to purchase the wood at their destination and burn it completely before leaving.

"The emerald ash borer problem doesn't affect just Indiana," Ellis said. "We want to make sure that Hoosiers aren't spreading this problem to new areas in other states."

Currently, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Maryland have confirmed infestations, and millions of ash trees have already fallen victim to this insect - often because unsuspecting campers have moved infested firewood.

"During the summer camping season, several Hoosiers will travel to places such as Minnesota and Wisconsin," Ellis said. "Neither of these states currently have confirmed infestations, and though we know infestation probably will happen in the future, we want to make sure campers aren't the unintentional cause."

For information about firewood movement and the problems associated with emerald ash borer, visit the Purdue emerald ash borer Web site at http://www.entm.purdue.edu/EAB/index.shtml. The site is also now available in Spanish at http://www.entm.purdue.edu/EAB/espanol/index.shtml.

Questions concerning the insect should be directed to Ellis at (765) 494-0822 or ellisj@purdue.edu. Potential finds should be reported to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at (866) NO EXOTIC.

Writer: Jennifer Stewart, (765) 494-6682, jsstewar@purdue.edu

Source: Jodie Ellis, (765) 494-0822, ellisj@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
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