Campers heading out to enjoy the end of summer are going to have to be careful where they get their firewood.
A tree-killing bug is forcing state officials to put a quarantine on firewood in New Haven County.
"A hard job just got a lot harder," Bill Salg said.
Salg has been making his living off cutting wood for more than 40 years. It hasn't been easy. Over the decades he's torn up his leg and lost three fingers on his left hand. But, he's made a living and has provided for his family.
"My whole life is in wood," he said. "I have a sawmill. I cut wood. It's what I do."
Now, Salg said that living is in jeopardy.
He lives in Northford, part of New Haven County. That means starting Thursday, he won't be able to sell his wood to longtime customers in Durham, just over the border in Middlesex County.
"My customers that call from six miles up the road, I gotta say, 'I can't bring you guys the wood,'" he said.
The reason is the Emerald Ash Borer. It's a tiny bug kills ash trees and has been found in New Haven County.
So, to stop the spread state officials signed the quarantine Thursday morning stopping ash trees and all firewood from leaving the county.
Firewood is one of the biggest problems.
"You could conceivably start up new infestations at great distances from the original site," said Louis Magnarelli, of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
Experts said they don't want to put anyone out of business, but they have to stop the spread. Our state has 45,000 ash trees that are in danger from the bug.
If they all die, it would cost $22 million to clean up.
They said to expect enforcement on this.
"A truckload of logs may get stopped someplace by police and questions may be asked about where you're going, where did the wood come from," Magnarelli said.
Thursday's decree is just the start. The federal government is expected to implement a quarantine of its own within the next few weeks.
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