Emerald Ash Borer Spreading, Scott County Parks Ban Outside Fire - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Emerald Ash Borer Spreading, Scott County Parks Ban Outside Firewood


Two infestations of Emerald Ash Borer have been confirmed in the last two days around the Quad Cities.

Wednesday in Rock Island County, Thursday in Cedar County.

The bug is spreading, and state plant officials blame firewood.

Even though there are efforts to slow the spread.

The Scott County Conservation Board just toughened its firewood bans in its parks.

Originally people weren't allowed to bring in firewood from areas under quarantine.

All of Illinois, Michigan, and parts of Wisconsin.

The quarantines are meant to keep people from moving contaminated firewood out of those areas.

They're not working, the bug is spreading, and now people in the Conservation Board's parks are not allowed to bring in any firewood from outside Scott County.

"We have a lot of people from either out of county or out of state," says Director Roger Kean.

He says about half of the people using the campgrounds are coming from outside Scott County.

The parks were acquired in the 70's and they were farm land at the time.

Trees were planted, 90 percent of which are ash.

Once the bugs reach the Board's campgrounds, those trees will be chopped down, and the park will have to be replanted from scratch.

That's why they've implemented this stricter firewood ban.

Because campers still bring in wood from outside the area.

"It all depends on where I'm going and what kind of a quarantine on the individual parks we stay in," says camper Thomas Yeager.

He brought in firewood from Southwest Iowa. It's Minnesota DNR certified, but he did not realize Scott County Conservation now bans outside firewood.

When campers register, they'll be asked if they brought any wood from outside the County.

If yes, they will be told to use it all up, or give it to the county to burn.

The parks have treated wood that can be bought.

Iowa's top plant official is working on a quarantine.

It's taken awhile because she was waiting to see if more Emerald Ash Borer would be discovered after it was found in Burlington earlier this summer.

She didn't want to make a quarantine too small.

She doesn't have an exact size to release yet, but she says once a quarantine is created, it'll stretch from Iowa's border with Minnesota down to Missouri.