Everyone may think it is okay. When campgrounds and governments place restrictions on simple things like firewood, it may not seem like a logical step. But they are more aware of the potential problems that come with transporting firewood across state lines.
In most cases, it is not legal to haul firewood across state lines. The reason for this is that there are insects that kill trees, some from the inside out. The different states and campgrounds are protecting their trees from these insects and preserving their trees for everyone to enjoy.
To learn more about this important topic, just continue to read our article. It has important information to help you avoid problems with carrying your own firewood. This is a problem as you may not realize the presence of those wood-eating insects.
In most states, you cannot transport firewood across their state lines. This regulation is in place to keep invasive insects from contaminating and destroying their trees.
The only wood you can transport will be pre-packaged wood that has been heat treated. The heat treatment kills those pests making it safe to use in all states.
To know if the wood you are bringing with you is safe, look for either the USDA APHIS or State Department heat treatment seal on the packages. If there is no seal, then you cannot bring it with you
Some owners have transported pallet wood or scrap construction wood without any hassle but that may be because they were lucky and did not get caught. It may also be okay to transport that wood but you should double-check with state officials first.
There are campgrounds that will ban all wood from entering their property so check with the campground when you are making your reservations.
Not all states make it illegal but those states that don’t do advise you not to do it. It is just a cautionary measure to make sure the trees in each state do not get killed by those invasive insects.
Also, you would not know which piece of firewood has the insect or not. You can’t just toss a piece of wood away and then claim your firewood is safe. The insects can spread just by touching a tree or another piece of firewood.
Also, some states or counties ban firewood from crossing into their territory. This is not just a state ban but a county ban issue as well. Then, forget about bringing firewood across the border with Canada.
This act is prohibited going both ways across the border. States need to do this to protect the beauty of their scenery as well as the many jobs those trees provide.
California’s ban is only for those trees that are taken from an infested area. This means that bringing wood from the mid-western and eastern states is against the law.
The reverse is also true as many states ban wood from California as that state has its own insects that destroy trees and no one wants to have those new insects imported into their areas.
The insects originating in California are called the red imported fire ant, sudden oak death, and light brown apple moth. The presence of these insects bans the importing or exporting of wood in most western counties of the state.
Since most National and State parks in this state ban the collecting and burning of wood within their park boundaries, you need to buy local wood within 50 miles of the Park to have a campfire. 10 miles is better.
There is nothing that we found in our research that specifically states you cannot do this. The web page on California did not mention Oregon at all and when we went to the web page for Oregon, they said you cannot import wood from any state outside of the Pacific Northwest states.
That section of the country eliminates California as being a safe place to get your firewood and move it into Oregon. If the firewood came from an infested forest or section of forest, then no, you would not be able to bring that Oregon wood into California.
Some RVers, of course, state that they see people transporting Oregon firewood into California without any hassles. If you want to take your chances that is up to you but give the California Dept. Of Agriculture a call to stay on the safe side of things.
We do not see them having a strict ban but they do prohibit the movement of firewood in and out of State Campgrounds. While they restrict this movement, the state advises you not to bring in wood from other states.
New England area and NY State have their share of insects that are attracted to wood. Those states do ban the importation of firewood from MA and other states.
One county in this state is quarantined- Worcester, Massachusetts is under federal quarantine. That means no firewood may be moved to another county including woody plants.
While you may think your firewood is harmless, these states do not give an inch on their regulations. You need to follow their instructions exactly as they won’t let you cross no matter if you are not stopping in the state.
You may think that is harsh but the spread of these insects does not take much effort.
You may not find Illinois specifically mentioned in the firewood laws of Wisconsin but their words are fairly specific- “Wisconsin authorities prohibit moving uncertified firewood out of any areas that are under quarantine for a forest pest.”
That would include firewood from Illinois. Also, the movement of firewood is strictly regulated and you will have trouble moving it from county to county. In fact, you cannot bring any pieces of wood onto state property if it was cut more than 10 miles away from that location.
Or if it comes from a forest, etc., infested with spongy moths. States are very tough on people who violate these laws so it is best you do not get caught. The state says to buy certified wood and do not take it with you when you leave their campgrounds.
You will have to burn your whole supply before you go.
Technically, you can bring firewood in from Wisconsin but only if it meets the following standards or regulations:
“-It is illegal to bring firewood in Minnesota from states infested with mountain pine beetle
-Firewood cannot be taken out of Lake and Cook counties due to a spongy moth interior quarantine
-Bringing in firewood from outside states as well as from some counties within Minnesota that are infested with emerald ash borer is against the law. Doing so is punishable up to a $7,500 fine per violation per day”
Also, specific campgrounds ban wood from outside the state, so that would stop you from bringing in Wisconsin firewood if you were going to those specific campgrounds. When you call for reservations talk to the campground owners or managers to see what regulations they have.
You can bring firewood from Canada or from the state to Canada if it is certified wood and heat treated. No other kind will be allowed.
The state does not mention Ohio specifically but it does mention specific forests in its regulations. One of those regulations states:
“illegal to bring untreated firewood into Michigan from areas quarantined for Asian longhorned beetle, thousand cankers disease, basalm woolly adelgid, imported fire ant and/or spotted lanternfly.”
What this means is that you have to check with the forest ranger or campground managers if their woods are infested with those insects. You can’t assume those pieces of firewood are not infested.
Also, bringing or taking any firewood into or out of the state, including Canada, requires that the wood is certified and heat-treated. That will include Ohio as well.
The state also wants the wood you burn to be purchased ideally within 10 miles of where you are going to camp. If you are not sure, call the state’s Dept. Of Agriculture to get up to date news.
The prohibition for Alberta focuses on Dutch Elm disease. What this means is that you cannot transport elm wood in or out of the Province. Also, you cannot transport wood out of regulated areas without the following -- Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) permit.
To be on the safe side of the law, you need to buy and use certified heat-treated firewood bought from the local area. You can buy this wood from outside the local area as it is okay to transport it across the international boundary between America and Canada.
But you cannot bring firewood into the National Parks in that Province. These rules should be strictly enforced so don’t try to do what one owner did and try to force his way into a park or state.
Rangers will not budge on this issue. They take their trees’ safety very seriously.
There may not be a specific law concerning this issue but the State does prohibit firewood movement out of counties that are under quarantine. While 6 counties are under quarantine for emerald ash borer, 192 counties are under quarantine for imported fire ants.
You cannot move any firewood out of or into these counties. However, the resource does not state if you can bring wood into Texas from another state. It seems that you can bring firewood in from Mexico but your load will be inspected at the border.
They are watching for the Mexican soapberry borer, which seems to be in 50 counties right now. If you bring firewood in from another state, you cannot go to the State parks or campgrounds with it.
Also, you basically cannot take wood from Texas to other states. To avoid problems, it is best to get your firewood locally.
We reported earlier, that Minnesota will fine a person $7500 per violation PER DAY. That is a very serious fine that many people cannot afford to pay. There is no real reason to violate the laws of any state concerning firewood.
The fine levied will be up to each state to decide. If you are violating federal statutes about firewood transportation, then the amount of the fine will be up to the federal agency in charge of that area.
We did check several sources but no one is reporting the amount of the fine on a state by state basis. Of course, those states not prohibiting the transportation of firewood will not have any fines in place.
The best thing to do is call the states’ Dept. Of Agriculture and talk to them. You can ask about the amount of the fines but it is best to leave your firewood at home and buy locally.
That way you can avoid paying any fines and still enjoy your vacation.
If you are using your RV or trailer to do the hauling, there are varieties of ways to do this task. One way is to put the wood in your basement storage bays. Some owners just toss it in there as is leaving a mess behind to clean up afterward.
Other owners simply put a cardboard box in those bays and put the wood into it. While still others will put the wood into bags to hold the wood in place as they drive.
However, the best way to carry firewood is to buy the certified options within 10 miles of where you are going to camp. This avoids the steep fines the different states will levy and will give you a little peace of mind.
Yes, those prices are higher than they should be but they are a fraction of the cost of a fine if you are caught illegally transporting firewood.
We won’t recommend or encourage you to do this as it can be illegal and cost you a lot of money. What you need to do if you want to bring your own firewood with you and save a few dollars, is to call the states you are going to and talk to them.
They will give you all the up-to-date information as well as the cost of the fines you will be issued if you are caught doing it illegally. It is not worth it to haul firewood across state lines as you will be losing the same amount of money via bad fuel economy.
Wood is not light and can subtract some of your mpg if you load too much of it. Leaving the wood at home and buying it in the state where you will camp is not going to be an extra expense when you compare that price to other costs when you bring your own firewood with you.
The loss of storage space may make things difficult when you need other supplies along for the trip.
Don’t try this without any permission or permits from the state government you are in. Then, if this is a full-time business, you will have to pay taxes on your earnings.
That is just one option. Most owners do not sell their excess firewood that they did not burn. They just leave it for the next camper to enjoy. It is a difficult business to do either way you go as the competition will be fierce and people are not going to be willing to pay high prices.
They will try to negotiate with you and you could end up with a loss no matter which method you use to sell your wood. It is best to just give it away and save yourself the hassle of dealing with cheap people.
Marketing the firewood will be costly as well. Unless you get a break and can sell to the many stores in your area. This opportunity just does not make sense when you go across state lines to do it.
We need to put a link to the main resource here as we did not cover all 50 states and 12 provinces. This link takes you to an interactive map that sends you to the correct page when you click on a state or province.
Some web pages will have other links to get you more information. Transporting firewood is not an area of RV life you want to mess with as the fines can be high.