It’s Camping Season! Where Can I Get Firewood?

By Andrea Diss-Torrance, DNR Invasive Forest Insects Program Coordinator, Andrea.DissTorrance@wisconsin.gov, 608-516-2223

Most people know that using locally-sourced firewood helps prevent the spread of invasive pests and diseases. What may be less well known are the processes for finding local sources of firewood or learning where and how you can collect it yourself.

A set of images showing an oak wilt spore pad, an emerald ash borer beetle emerging from a tree and a gypsy moth caterpillar on a leaf.

In Wisconsin, oak wilt, emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and several other invasive pests and diseases are moved in or on firewood. During the camping season, these pests can emerge from transported wood to attack trees at the camper’s destination. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR, MJ Raupp Bugwood, WDNR

Now that camping season is starting, we want to share what options are out there so you can enjoy a campfire and take steps to protect the places you love.

Use Firewood Scout To Find Local Firewood Vendors

Whether you’re looking for a vendor to supply your cabin or just a bundle for tonight’s campfire, you can use the Firewood Scout website to find a nearby source. On the homepage, enter the location of where you plan to use the firewood.

You can also enter a maximum distance from your location, which is a great way to find your firewood as locally as possible. The website offers a 10-mile radius as the default distance.  

After entering your information, Firewood Scout will provide a list and map with all sources of firewood included in their records for that area. Note that not all vendors listed offer Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) certified firewood. If you would like to purchase this treated firewood, which can be transported anywhere within the state without worry, look for that designation underneath the vendor’s information.

Listing a business on Firewood Scout is free. If you have a firewood business in Wisconsin or know someone who does, fill out the form on the Add Your Business page to get it listed.

Firewood For Sale At State Properties

You can purchase firewood in or near almost every Wisconsin state park or forest property. For the time and location of firewood sales at a state campground, select a property from this Find a Park page. Once on the property’s webpage, look for the section titled “Camping at …” the bottom of the page.

Many state parks and other properties have affiliated Friends Groups that sell certified or local firewood. Proceeds from these sales fund projects to benefit the property. Learn more about Friends Groups on this DNR webpage.

Collecting Firewood On State Properties

Along with offering firewood for purchase, state properties often allow for free firewood collection while camping. All wood used must be dead and downed, not collected from live or standing dead trees. Chainsaws are not allowed at parks or near campgrounds on state forests. Campgrounds are often picked clean of eligible firewood, so check with staff at park and state forest offices for suggestions of where to collect.

Bringing In Firewood, What’s Allowed

Wisconsin state parks and state forests allow only firewood cut within 10 miles, Wisconsin DATCP certified firewood and clean, untreated dimensional lumber scraps.  For details, visit the DNR page on firewood rules and resources. Most state parks have legal firewood available for sale.

Chequamegon National Forest and other federal lands allow only firewood that has been cut within 25 miles or Wisconsin DATCP certified firewood.

Tribal lands, private campgrounds and town or county campgrounds may have their own requirements. Check with the campground before you leave home.

For information on Wisconsin DATCP certified firewood treatments, go to their website on firewood.

Avoid carrying firewood from eastern counties to the far western counties of Wisconsin. Any such transport would violate the quarantine that helps slow the spread of gypsy moth westward. 

For a map of the quarantined and non-quarantined counties and quarantine regulations, go to the DATCP page on the gypsy moth quarantine and regulations.

Moving firewood long distances can introduce forest pests to the places you love, but you have the power to slow the spread. Buy firewood where you will burn it, find a certified source, or gather it on-site where permitted.

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