The ban on transporting firewood in-state is being lifted, but not because of any victory over the emerald ash borer.
Quite the opposite, as the Illinois Department of Agriculture says the destructive pest is now present in 60 of Illinois’ 102 counties.
“That’s kind of a tipping point where we’re over halfway confirmed positive,” said Steve Schirmer, a plant and pesticide specialist with the department, “and then, the fact that we’re also surrounded by other states that are entirely quarantined, kind of led us to this decision to go this route.”
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By lifting the quarantine, you can transport firewood to any part of the state, though Schirmer says the mantra of “buy locally, burn locally” is still useful to prevent the spread of the borer to areas of the state which it hasn’t reached.
The borer was first detected in Kane County in 2006. Since it was discovered near Detroit in 2002, the borer is responsible for killing an estimated 250 million ash tress across the country.