Beginning in March, only heat-treated firewood allowed in Smokies

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

January 11, 2015

GATLINBURG, Tennessee — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has adopted new restrictions on firewood usage.

Park officials said in a statement that campgrounds will allow only heat-treated firewood that has been certified beginning in March.

The policy aims to slow the spread of invasive, tree-killing insects such as the emerald ash borer.

Park officials have said the insects have the potential to devastate wildlife habitat, park biodiversity and scenic views and that the change would offer some protection from that.

“The threat of these new pests coming into our forests, both in the Park and regionally, compels us to do all we can to reduce the risk to our forests,” said Acting Superintendent Clayton Jordan.

“While a ban on the importation of nontreated firewood will not entirely halt the spread of destructive forest pests and diseases, it will greatly slow it down. This allows time to develop and implement new treatment strategies to help control the impacts from these nonnative pests and diseases.”

Media report campers will be able to purchase… READ FULL STORY >>