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N.H. officials warn against toting firewood on visit

New Hampshire officials are reminding out-of-staters not to bring firewood from home when they travel to the Granite State for camping and other recreational activities.

Officials said invasive pests often hitchhike in the firewood and then contaminate trees in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire has two firewood quarantines in place. The ban on out-of-state firewood was implemented in July 2011. Earlier this year the state outlawed the movement of Merrimack County firewood outside county lines after the detection of the emerald ash borer in Concord.

Officials say firewood enforcement efforts this year have led to the confiscation of firewood from as far away as California, Colorado, Ohio and Prince Edward Island.

Invasive species threaten the state’s forest ecosystems and economy, officials say.

“We’ve been collecting firewood for years to see what comes out it, and the numbers and types of insects that come out of firewood are simply amazing,” said Kyle Lombard of the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands.

Lombard said wood that is not locally sourced can carry stowaway insects over distances they could not travel on their own. The firewood bans rely on the cooperation of New Hampshire residents and out-of-state visitors, he said.

“Movement of firewood is a really critical way that people assist in the spread of forest pests like emerald ash borer and Asian long-horned beetle,” said state entomologist Piera Siegert of the Department of Agriculture.

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