Photo of scientist using a drawknife to expose thousand cankers disease
Lightly scraping away the bark exposes TCD cankers underneath.

Firewood caution urged for deer hunters

News from the region

Nov 15, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Department of Conservation is asking deer hunters to help protect the state’s forest resources by exercising two kinds of campfire caution.

Anyone who has ever heard of Smokey Bear knows the importance of making sure campfires don’t cause forest fires. Rainfall predicted for the opening of firearms deer season Nov. 16 reduces the danger of wildfire. But with drought conditions still prevailing in much of Missouri, caution is still sensible. Important measures include removing all burnable material from the area around the fire ring, never leaving a fire unattended, and thoroughly extinguishing fires when not needed.

Less well known, but potentially more damaging, is the possibility of spreading forest pests by moving firewood from place to place. The gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, Asian long-horned beetle and thousand cankers disease are among pests with the potential to devastate Missouri’s multi-million dollar forest-products industry, not to mention the ecological damage they could cause.

These pests can hitch rides on firewood moved from one area to another. The best way to avoid introducing these pests to new areas is to obtain and burn firewood locally.

“Signs of infestation are easy to overlook,” says Conservation Department Forest Entomologist Rob Lawrence. “The safest way to keep from moving these pests is to buy firewood in the area where you hunt or camp and burn it all up before leaving.”

For more information about the forest pests mentioned above, visit,,, or

- Jim Low -


metallic, emerald-green beetle on ash leaf
Emerald Ash Borer Beetle


Photo of an Asian longhorned beetle male, specimen
Asian Longhorned Beetle (Adult Male)


Image of a gypsy moth
Gypsy Moth

Stay in Touch with MDC

Stay in Touch with MDC news, newsletters, events, and manage your subscription

Sign up

Our Magazines

Conservationist Magazine

Our monthly publication about conservation in Missouri--free to all residents.

Missouri Conservationist 09-2016

Xplor Magazine for kids

Xplor helps kids find adventure in their own backyard. Free to residents of Missouri.

xplor September/October