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Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, South Orange County, Long Beach Area

Orange County Parks Adopt New Firewood Policy

Orange County Parks has adopted a new firewood policy that is designed to help protect Orange County’s oak, sycamore, and other trees from invasive pests.

The new policy is now in effect, and visitors to Caspers Wilderness Park and O’Neil Regional Park may no longer bring or burn outside firewood. Only wood that has been commercially produced, heat treated and labeled “Pest Free” or “Safe to Move”, will be allowed. This is due to highly invasive and destructive non-native insects that could travel in firewood and destroy local tree populations.

The Goldspotted Oak Borer and Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer are invasive pests that have helped to kill millions of trees in California. It is important to note that both of these pests have been found in Orange County. Both of these pests can hide in firewood and be easily be moved from place to place.

To slow the spread of tree pests, many of California’s campgrounds are taking steps by limiting the movement of firewood.

Wood from shipping pallets, scrap lumber, tree trimming services, etc., is now strictly prohibited. You will also not be allowed to gather dead wood or other plant material within these parks.

For your convenience, treated firewood bundles will be available for purchase at the park office of these camping parks.

Buy Local,

Burn Local

When non-native insects and diseases are brought into our area, they can be much more damaging to our trees than the native ones. The reason for this is because our native trees have evolved to survive with local insects and diseases. We also have our native predators that eat native insects, and that keeps their numbers in check.
Non-native insects and diseases have few (if any) predators, and our native trees have few natural defenses against them. Another factor to consider is that invasive insects and diseases reproduce quickly, and they are able to outcompete our native species.
The U.S. Forest Service announced that over 129 million trees have died in California due to our drought and bark beetles. Worse yet, the number of dead trees is continuing to rise.
You can do your part to protect our campsites and forests that we all love by following these two simple rules:

1. If you need firewood, buy it where you burn it.
2. If you are going to one of our campgrounds, use only treated firewood.