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Published: Saturday, 5/24/2008

Pest quarantine restricts movement of firewood

Reminder for those thinking about moving firewood this weekend: Don't do it.

That is, unless you've done your homework.

Although it's OK to move firewood strictly within a quarantined area of Ohio, for example, fines in the thousands of dollars are possible against those caught moving it across state lines or out of quarantined areas in both states.

In Michigan, state officials can impose jail time and up to $250,000 in penalties for certain infractions.

The Memorial Day weekend is often viewed as the start of the annual camping season and, thus, a time of great anxiety for Ohio and Michigan officials trying to keep the emerald ash borer from spreading to new areas.

Firewood movement is believed to be one of the ways the beetle has spread.

The beetle, a native of China, was believed to have been brought accidentally into North America in a shipping container about a decade ago, maybe longer. It has destroyed millions of ash trees across North America since being discovered in Michigan a few years ago.

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