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Firewood Information line
1-877-303-WOOD (9663)


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Firewood rules

Get firewood where you will use it or know the laws before you move it.

Firewood can transport harmful tree problems to your backyard, street or favorite campsite. Just one firewood log can easily hide insects like emerald ash borer or gypsy moth, or the tiny spores of a tree-killing fungus like oak wilt.

Instead of taking firewood along on your next camping trip or bringing some home with you from far away, get your firewood where you're going to use it. Make sure it is from trees harvested nearby. Or, buy firewood from a WI certified dealer [PDF exit DNR]. This wood has been processed to eliminate pests and diseases.

Wisconsin regulates the movement of firewood in the state to help protect our trees and forests. Property owners and managers may also have additional restrictions. Here are some basic rules.

Rules for all of Wisconsin

As of 2018, the entire state of Wisconsin is quarantined for emerald ash borer. The EAB quarantine no longer regulates county-to-county firewood movement in the state. However, movement of firewood out of Wisconsin to non-quarantined areas in other states is still prohibited. Check with individual tribes for their policy on moving firewood through their land.

Please be aware that a quarantine for gypsy moths still prohibits the movement of firewood east to west from infested to non-quarantined WI counties; movement of firewood within the gypsy moth-quarantined area is allowed. See maps of the gypsy moth quarantine in Wisconsin [PDF exit DNR] and the U.S. [PDF exit DNR]

Although, in the case of emerald ash borer, movement of firewood within the state is no longer legally restricted, it is in everyone’s best interest to avoid introducing new pests to your property and areas you care about. To protect Wisconsin’s trees, obtain firewood near where you will use it or by using certified firewood – that which has been properly heat-treated or aged to kill any infesting pests or diseases.

Rules for state properties

Firewood being brought onto a state property must meet the following criteria:

You can purchase firewood in or near almost every Wisconsin state park or forest property. For time and location of firewood sales at a state campground", visit the property’s webpage and click on ‘Camping Information’. In unstaffed campgrounds or remote campsites, you will find firewood available locally – either for sale in nearby communities or on the property as dead and downed wood. Firewood Scout [exit DNR] is one tool for finding firewood retailers by zip code.

Exceptions

Firewood that has been certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has been processed to kill potential pests and diseases hiding inside. It is legal to move this wood around the state regardless of quarantines and it may be brought to state parks, forests and other DNR campsites regardless of where it was obtained. Wisconsin certified firewood has this seal on its label. Find a Wisconsin certified firewood dealer [PDF exit DNR].

DATCP Vendor Stamp 2015 

Other rules

County, federal, tribal and private lands may have their own restrictions. Call ahead for specific information for your campsite.

Read more about the regulation governing firewood allowed onto state properties.

Tips for your camping trip

Building project scraps are allowed per discretion of park staff
Allowable firewood types: 1) Wisconsin certified firewood, which has been processed to remove harmful hitchhikers. 2) Dimensional lumber, such as 2x4 or 4x6 scraps from a building project, will be allowed on state property upon the discretion of park staff. 3) Firewood that meets firewood regulations described above.

Burning pallets is not allowed
Not allowed: 1) Full or partial pallets, skids or slabs. This wood is fresh enough to harbor pests and has traveled long distances. 2) Wood that is painted, treated with preservatives or made up of a composite of wood and glue such as chipboard and plywood. Toxins are released when this is burned causing a serious health hazard.

Firwood for sale
Most parks offer quality firewood for sale at reasonable prices by the park's friends group. Proceeds help pay for things like educational programs, buildings and picnic shelters, seasonal naturalists and needed equipment. Private sellers often have firewood for sale just outside of the park as well. For time and location of firewood sales at a state campground, visit the webpage for that property and go to Camping Information.

Use up firewood
Use up the firewood you have at each place on your camping vacation. Do not take it with you to another destination.

Buy dry firewood
When buying firewood, make sure the pieces are dry and have either no bark or bark that is loose (a sign that the wood is very dry). This will this reduce the threat of spreading diseases and your fire will be easier to start.

Use gas or charcoal instead
Reduce your need for open fire by cooking over gas or charcoal. Instead of an evening campfire, explore new night-time activities like star-gazing or viewing wildlife by flashlight.

No firewood from outside Wisconsin
If you are a camper from outside of Wisconsin, please do not bring firewood with you. If it originated from more than 10 miles from the state campground and isn’t certified, you will have to surrender it before checking into your campsite.

Last revised: Thursday August 16 2018