A quarantine is now in effect across New Haven County regulating the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs or any ash materials, thanks to the presence of a destructive beetle called the Emerald Ash Borer. Scientists warn some of the more than 20 million ash trees across Connecticut could be threatened by the beetle if the quarantine is not observed.
The quarantine was established yesterday by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP.) In July, CAES and DEEP discovered traces of the beetle in areas of Bethany, Prospect, Naugatuck and Beacon Falls.
"The detection in Bethany came from one of the purple prison traps we set out across the state," said CAES State Entomologist Kirby Stafford. He said only one trap site was set out in Bethany, but the trap showed evidence of the Emerald Ash Borer.
Connecticut is now the 16th state in the nation to face the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer, which targets and destroys ash trees. Because ash trees make up between four and 15 percent of Connecticut's forest area, and serve as both a source of revenue and a critical habitat for wildlife, the beetle's presence could have disastrous and far-reaching implications for the state.
“Anyone involved in the transport of firewood and other wood products should contact CAES for the information they need to conduct their business operations,” CAES Director Louis Magnarelli said in a statement. “We can help determine which of their wood products can be moved within our state or into or out of Connecticut, and what type of documentation would be required to do so.”
Some firewood, including wood that had been certified to show it had not come from an infected area or had been properly treated to kill insects, could be exemple from the ban.