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Forest Rangers Plan 'Firewood Quarantine' Checkpoints

NH Agriculture

Forest rangers will be enforcing New Hampshire's firewood quarantine at roadside checkpoints this Memorial Day weekend.

They want to stop the spread of a pest called the emerald ash borer. It was first found in Concord in 2013 and has since spread to five counties across the Southeastern part of the state - Rockingham, Merrimack, Belknap, Strafford and Hillsborough.

Forest ranger captain Doug Miner says residents shouldn't move untreated firewood from that region, outside it -- to places like the North Country, or the Upper Valley.

And he says they shouldn't transport untreated firewood over state lines.

"The insect doesn't fly very far on its own, but if it gets a free ride in firewood, and it gets transported quite a few miles, it's going to really expedite the process for infecting non-infected areas."

The ash borer threatens a small but valuable portion of New Hampshire's forests. The pest recently turned up in Vermont, but it hasn't yet been found in Maine.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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