Quinte, On. real estate agent: Camping Responsibly in Ontario This Summer

Camping Responsibly in Ontario This Summer

I thought I would pass on a warning from the Ontario Parks Website.
They are fighting a battle against the Asian Long-horned Beetle and the Emerald Ash Borer, two invasive species in Ontario that are destroying millions of trees in this province.
If you plan to go camping this summer, please think about this. I'm sure these warnings might also apply to other parts of the continent that are fighting similar battles against invasive species.

Planning to Bring Your Own Firewood to the Park?

A single piece of firewood can destroy millions of trees.

It might seem difficult to imagine, but something as simple as bringing your own firewood when you travel to or from your favourite campsite could threaten and destroy thousands, even millions, of trees. Transportation of firewood is a common way for invasive species to spread as they remain hidden under the bark where you can't see them. Campers who bring firewood from home may accidentally spread pests that threaten Ontario’s provincial parks and the health of our forests.

Leave your firewood at home.

Throwing a few pieces of firewood into the trunk of the car before a camping trip might seem like a good way to plan ahead, but those logs could destroy a forest.

The Asian long-horned beetle and Emerald ash borer are of particular concern. They are both recent arrivals to Canada and have no natural controls here. To prevent the spread of these pests, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued Federal Ministerial Orders that prohibit the movement of specific materials, including firewood and any material made from ash trees, from specific areas of Ontario, Quebec and the United States.

There are new regulated areas for the Emerald Ash Borer. To find out if your area is regulated please visit the CFIA web site.

What is Ontario Parks doing to protect the park environment?

Ontario Parks will continue to prohibit campers from bringing firewood from any of these regulated areas into a provincial park. Anyone moving firewood from a regulated area or transporting within the newly amalgamated Southern Ontario area will have their firewood seized upon entry. Campers can still purchase firewood locally around the park; however you should check for pest infestation and avoid purchasing ash firewood.

Upon departure from the park please leave behind any left over firewood that was either purchased in the area or that traveled with you to the park. This will stop the spread of any unwanted pests.

Did you know?

  • Transportation of firewood is a common way for invasive species to spread.
  • The emerald ash borer, on its own, does not move very far. Hidden in the bark of trees, this tiny “hitchhiker” has traveled with many an unsuspecting camper and as a result has killed millions of ash trees across Canada.
  • You could face penalties of up to $50,000 and/or prosecution if you move firewood out of an area regulated for a quarantine pest without prior approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Comment balloon 3 commentsMalcolm Johnston • July 09 2012 12:55PM


We have camped for years and years.  The final straw to camping in forest campgrounds, state campgrounds or anywhere else was when we had to buy the local wood at the campground, and we put it in the camper (unknown to us that it was infested with deer and wood ticks).  After that, Chief Cook would no longer camp anywhere but on our own land where we can harvest our own wood and have fires. 

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) almost 8 years ago

This is a great post and reminder for us all....with all the avoidable fires today, this is especially important...thanks!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTORĀ®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for this information Malcolm, I have seen the signs for years, but never knew what one looked like.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 8 years ago