Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Firewood Movement Regulations

Firewood Movement Rule, Rule No. 5B-65, in Effect 8/10/2010:
The movement of commercial shipments of firewood, unprocessed wood products and other regulated articles into the state is prohibited unless the shipper has entered into a signed compliance agreement with the state of origin under a master permit that has been issued to the state of origin by the Director. Locally produced or harvested firewood and unprocessed wood products are exempt from this rule provided they are not moved 50 miles from the distribution point.

For more information, download and read the Firewood Rule Backgrounder [ Adobe PDF Document 170.41 KB ].

Firewood Use at Campsites

For many people, a campfire is an important part of the camping experience. It's the family room of the campsite, a place where friends get together to share a laugh, cook meals and toast marshmallows. But the firewood that fuels your campfire could also be transporting harmful insects and diseases to your favorite park or campground, and maybe even your own backyard or neighborhood.

Watch our online video Firewood Alert - Keep Pests and Diseases out of Florida [ Windows Media Video 29.76 MB ].

Firewood General Information

Firewood can transport invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer, Sirex wood wasp, Asian longhorned beetle and gypsy moth, as well as diseases such as beech bark disease, sudden oak death and oak wilt. Several states (Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, New York and Maryland), as well as Ontario (Canada), are currently engaged in eradication and control measures aimed at these destructive hardwood pests. The movement of affected hardwood has proven to be the source of many infestations throughout the Great Lakes region.

Protect Florida's Forests — Don't Move Firewood

Millions of ash trees are dead or dying in the United States and Canada due to the emerald ash borer, an invasive (non-native) insect pest. Over 15,000 hardwood trees have been removed in the Toronto and Vaughan area to control the Asian longhorned beetle, another invasive insect.

You can help to control these and other invasive insects and diseases by limiting the movement of firewood, especially from out of state. Firewood may contain insect pests and plant diseases that could easily spread to other locations. The best way to protect your forest is to use firewood from the area where you plan to burn it.

Across Florida, campers are encouraged to take some simple steps to help ensure the healthy future of the state's parks and forests:

  1. Leave firewood at home and purchase aged firewood near your campsite location. Many parks offer firewood for sale at a reasonable price or private sellers will have it available just outside the park.
  2. Firewood purchased at or near your destination should be used during your camping vacation. Don't leave any unused wood behind and don't take it with you to another destination.
  3. If you can't burn your wood, donate it to a fellow camper.
  4. When buying firewood, make sure you receive pieces that are dry and have either little bark or bark that is loose (a sign that the wood is very dry). Not only will this reduce the threat of spreading diseases, your fire will be easier to start.
  5. Reduce your need for an open fire by cooking over gas or charcoal when possible.

Take-Home Lessons:

If you're a camper from outside Florida, please don't bring firewood with you.

If you're a camper from Florida, please only use firewood from a Florida source. If possible, consider purchasing firewood from a vendor near or inside the park or forest where you're staying.

Help protect Florida's natural resources by following these firewood recommendations:

"Buy firewood when you reach your destination and burn it all on site."

Other Information About Firewood and Firewood Pests

Top Campfire graphic courtesy of CAPS archives
 Firewood alert graphic courtesy of www.ohioagriculture.gov
 Firewood photo courtesy of www.forestryimages.org