New Hampshire has expanded its firewood quarantine to Rockingham County and Hillsborough County east of interstate 293, after discovering an invasive beetle in Salem.
The Emerald Ash Borer – which has decimated ash trees in the mid-west – was discovered in traps mounted less than a mile from an infestation just south of the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, in North Andover.
The beetles found in Salem likely spread there under their own power. Kyle Lombard, the forest health program coordinator with the Division of Forested Lands, says the beetles travel only a few miles per year.
In response the state has asked residents to leave their firewood at home. A similar quarantine has been in effect in Merrimack county since the spring of 2013 when the beetle was discovered in Concord.
“I think the good news is we don’t think it has spread into the really heavily, ash-dense areas of the state,” says Lombard, “Southern Grafton County, Carroll County, Sullivan County… those areas have a lot of ash.”
Lombard says the state has responded to the infestation by distributing more than 17,000 parasitic wasps over the past year.
The non-stinging wasps eat only the larva of the emerald ash borer, and are raised in labs in the mid-west.
**Note: An earlier version of this story said teh quarantine in Hillsborough county is east of route 3, when in reality it is east of interstate 293.**