If you live in Ohio, or are traveling to Ohio to camp, you may be wondering what laws are in place for how to transport and use firewood in and around the state. This can be confusing as each state has slightly different regulations. I have summarized it for you below:
You are prohibited from moving firewood across state lines out of Ohio into another state due to the Emerald Ash Borer. Wood in Bulter and Clermont Counties in southwest Ohio has been quarantined completely and firewood cannot be moved out of those areas because of the Asian Long-Horned Beetle and Thousand Cankers Disease. In addition, no firewood can be moved out of a large portion of the northwest counties in Ohio due to the European Gypsy Moth.
|Where You’re Moving Firewood||Current Regulation|
|Out of Ohio||You may not move firewood out of Ohio to any other state.|
|Within Ohio from one county to another||You may not move firewood out of the following Ohio counties: Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Bulter, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Fairfield, Franklin, Fulton, Geauga, Guernsey, Harrison, Henry, Hocking, Holmes, Huron, Jefferson, Knox, Lake, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa, Perry, Portage, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton, Washington, Wayne, William, and Wood.|
|Into Ohio||You may not bring firewood into Ohio from anywhere in: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Also, specific areas of: Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Louisianna, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.|
Read on to find out more about movement and use of firewood in Ohio, including information on Ohio state parks!
Firewood laws for Ohio for transportation
The safest thing for local ecosystems is to never bring firewood in from another county or state and always source firewood once you get to where you will be burning.
Multiple invasive species, creatures that aren’t native to an area and don’t belong in that ecosystem, are destroying trees and forests throughout the United States. Trying to stop the spread of these invasive creatures has led to state governments, as well as the federal government, quarantining wood in certain areas where the invasive species have been found.
Taking firewood out of Ohio
The federal government has placed all firewood in Ohio in strict quarantine due to the Emerald Ash Borer. Because of this, firewood may not be taken out of the state.
This insect bores into wood and has completely destroyed Ash trees in a large portion of the United States. Find out more from the USDA website and see a current Emerald Ash Borer quarantine map here.
Moving firewood within Ohio
Besides the Emerald Ash Borer, there are 3 other invasive species or diseases that have been found in Ohio and are causing damage to trees. But, these haven’t been found across the entire state and specific counties have been quarantined. Again, it is always best to source firewood where you will be burning it, but you can get more specifics on Ohio counties in quarantine below.
- Asian Long-Horned Beetle
Clermont County is the only county in Ohio with firewood currently under quarantine for the Asian Long-Horned Beetle.
- Thousand Cankers Disease
Butler County is the only county in Ohio where firewood has been quarantined due to Thousand Cankers Disease.
Thousand Cankers is a disease spread by the invasive Walnut Twig Beetle. This disease does target walnut trees specifically, but because the beetle could be hiding in any firewood, all species of firewood is quarantined in Butler County.
- European Gypsy Moth
The entire northeast portion of Ohio is under firewood quarantine because of the discovery of European Gypsy Moths in those counties.
This invasive moth lives in many species, but mostly causes damage or death to oak trees. Get more information about the European Gypsy Moth from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. See a current Gypsy Moth quarantine map just for Ohio here and a national quarantine map here.
Bringing firewood into Ohio
Ohio is not the only state experiencing problems with invasive species and because of that, all of the states surrounding Ohio are also under federal firewood quarantine.
This means that you are prohibited from bringing firewood from all surrounding states into Ohio. On their website, the Do Not Move Firewood organization has an interactive map where you can click on each state and find information on transportation bans happening for that area. Find that map here.
Conseqeunces of not following firewood laws
Burning local is always the safest way to go both for the ecosystem you are burning in AND your wallet!
I took this right fro the USDA website:
“State and federal officials monitor the movement of wood within and around regulated areas to enforce the quarantine. They may issue fines to individuals and businesses that do not comply with the regulations.”USDA
According to an article on firewood in Bowling Green, Ohio’s newspaper, the BG Independent, fines can be stiff. For example, bringing firewood from Michigan into Ohio could result in a $4,000 fine. Don’t risk it!
Can you use wood found in Ohio state parks?
If you are planning on camping in Ohio, know that you can’t burn or take any wood from Ohio state parks. Not only can you not cut down any trees, dead or alive, but you can also not take trees or wood that is on the ground.
If you are caught by rangers removing any wood, dead or alive, from where it sits you will be ticketed.
There is an exception to this rule, however. If there has been a major storm or some event that downed a lot of trees in a park, you may be granted a permit to take the fallen trees out of the park.
You must call the Ohio DNR Division of Forestry to ask about permits. If you are granted a permit, be sure you understand all details including how much you can take and from where. Also, check about how you can cut the fallen trees as some Ohio State Parks don’t allow use of chainsaws.
Ohio laws for selling firewood
Interested in selling firewood in Ohio? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Firewood that isn’t packaged has to be sold by the cord or a fraction of a cord.
- If you are selling it in bulk, however, you have to sell it by the ton using a certified scale.
- You must give the buyer a sales invoice with your contact information, date, price, and other pertinent information.
- If you describe your firewood for sale as “seasoned,” moisture content has to be under 50%.
- When selling firewood advertised as a specific species, the firewood sold can only contain 10% or less of a different species. For instance, if you advertise “oak firewood,” 90% of that wood has to be oak.
To get more details on selling firewood in Ohio, click here to read more on the Ohio DNR website.
Burning laws in Ohio
You’ve sourced your legal firewood, but now what about burning it? How can you do that within Ohio regulations?
If you are in a state park, as long as you burn in a provided fire ring, check for high winds and burn bans, don’t leave your fire unattended, and don’t have more than 32 sq. ft. of firewood on-site, you’re good to go!
If you live in Ohio and want to burn on your property, thre are a few things to keep in mind.
According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, your burning firewood pile can be no bigger than 3 ft. in diameter by 2 ft. high.
Also, you can’t burn it if there are local air pollution warnings in effect.
Fires for fun or warmth on a cold night are ok, but Ohio doesn’t allow burning for waste disposal, and the Ohio EPA included this example: “a tree trimming contractor may not haul branches and limbs to another site to burn.”
If you are lighting up a campfire in Ohio this weekend, enjoy and have fun!