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ODA adopts rules for Oregon's new firewood law

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Beginning with the new year, Oregonians will have a choice to either buy local firewood or firewood that has been heat treated and labeled as pest free:

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The Oregon Department of Agriculture has finalized the rules for a new state law addressing imported firewood that is set to go into effect on January first:

HILBURN:  “Those rules will prohibit firewood from outside the Pacific Northwest unless it has been heat treated to kill all the pests in it. That’s something we haven’t had up until now and it’s very important because there are pests and diseases in this country– especially the invasive ones– that could travel here on firewood.”  :20

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ODA’s Dan Hilburn says wood that is cut in Oregon, Washington, or Idaho does not require heat treatment or a label, and is still the best option for people who purchase firewood. Devastating insect pests such as emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle can or have hitched a ride on firewood in other parts of the US, spreading the invasive bugs to other states. Oregon is one of a handful of states enacting a firewood law to protect its forests:

HILBURN:  “I look at it like the Smokey the Bear campaign– get people to pay attention and put out their fires. This is protecting our forests from another threat. We just need people to make sure that they are buying local wood or buying wood that has been heat treated.”  :15

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Surprisingly, firewood often comes to Oregon from great distances. This new law will hopefully ensure that insect pests don’t come with it. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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HILBURN says the best choice for Oregon consumers is firewood that comes from the Pacific Northwest:

“There will be wood that is cut in Oregon or Idaho or Washington that is allowed without heat treatment. That is good firewood, it doesn’t contain invasive pests. It may contain some live insects, the ones that are already here, but those are not a threat to our forests.”  :15

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HILBURN says consumers will also have an option to buy firewood that is not cut from Oregon, Washington, or Idaho. But the new law requires it to be treated and labeled:

“The other kind that will be available is firewood coming from outside the Pacific Northwest. It will say right on it, it will be approved pest-free, and it will be heat treated to a specific temperature.”  :12

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