- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut environmental officials are stepping up efforts to keep out firewood that might contain invasive beetles.

Inspections were taking place Friday afternoon at the popular Hammonasset Beach State Park campground to make sure any campers with out-of-state firewood have required permits. Those without firewood transport permits were being asked to burn the wood immediately.

Officials are concerned about the spread of insects, such as the Asian longhorned beetle, which has led to the destruction of hundreds of acres of trees elsewhere. The insect spends a portion of its life inside the trunk and branches of hardwood trees. It has been found in Massachusetts and New York, but not Connecticut.

“Folks transporting infested firewood from one location to another may unknowingly move insect pests such as ALB, the emerald ash borer, the new southern pine beetle, or potentially an undetected new pest,” said state entomologist Kirby Stafford. “Purchasing firewood locally rather than transporting it from home is a best management practice that reduces the risk of introduction and spread.”

Portions of New York’s Long Island, New York City and the Worcester area of Massachusetts are under a federal quarantine that prohibits the transport of untreated firewood, said Robert Klee, commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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