This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

Don't Move Firewood

Help Protect Our Forests

The movement of firewood poses a substantial risk to Canada's economy and environment.

Transporting firewood may seem harmless but can lead to the spread of pests such as insects, plants and diseases. A mass infestation of an invasive species can limit your ability to enjoy the environment around you and negatively affect the property value of your home.

Refrain from moving any firewood to prevent the spread of pests. Moving untreated firewood, to or from a campground or cottage, can spread invasive species and diseases.

Buy Local. Burn Local.

Attention: Be aware of movement restrictions

Moving firewood from places where regulated pests have been found can be a violation of the Plant Protection Act, with penalties of up to $50,000 and/or prosecution. Be aware of movement restrictions that may be in place before you move wood or wood products.

For more information about these restrictions, contact your local Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) office.

When moving wood is not allowed When moving wood is allowed
  • Moving firewood from regulated areas to non-regulated areas without a movement certificate from the CFIA.
  • Moving firewood within a regulated area for a specific pest.
  • Moving firewood from a regulated area for one pest to another regulated area for a different pest without a movement certificate from the CFIA.
  • Moving firewood within non-regulated areas.
  • Bringing firewood into a national park in Canada.
  • Moving firewood outside of regulated areas with a movement certificate obtained from the CFIA for heat treated firewood, or, under compliance agreement.
Regulated Areas

Moving Firewood outside of regulated areas is prohibited. Below is a map of regulated areas in Canada.

Click on image for larger view
Map - Map of regulated areas for Plant Pests in Canada. Description follows.

Description for photo - Map of regulated areas for Plant Pests in Canada

Map of south eastern Ontario to South Eastern Canada showing all regulated areas for Plant Pests in Canada. The left corner of the image highlights British Colombia which indicates that the province is regulated for the hemlock wooly adelgid. One section of the image also shows that Toronto and Mississauga are regulated for the Asian longhorned beetle. The map demonstrates regulated areas for the emerald ash borer from Sudbury to Montreal and all the way south of these regions to the U.S. border. Areas regulated for one or more pests include Sault Ste. Marie to the Sudbury area, a section with a 200 km radius north of Ottawa, the Trois-Rivieres, Quebec City and Sherbrooke areas as well as south-eastern New Brunswick, all of Nova Scotia and a small section of Prince Edward Island near Charlottetown.

Going to a national park? Help protect it!

National parks are among Canada's – and the world's – natural gems. They are a source of pride for Canadians and an integral part of our identity, which is why it is so important to keep these ecosystems healthy and whole.

If you're travelling to a national park, you can take one easy step to prevent the introduction of invasive species and ensure the long-term health of our parks' ecosystems: don't bring firewood with you. To be safe, all firewood must be bought on the Parks Canada property.

What Are Invasive Species and Why Are They a Threat?

Invasive species are insects, plants and diseases that become established in areas to which they are not native and whose impact is likely to be harmful to the environment, economy or human health.

As world-wide trade and travel increase, the risk of spreading invasive species rises, potentially resulting in complete infestation in some plant species. They are often quick to adapt and spread, and usually don't have any natural predators in the new environment.

If these pests do spread, the trees in our forests can be killed, affecting our air and water quality, as well as our economy. Plant pests can also deprive animals of their habitat and damage private property.

The emerald ash borer, for example, has killed millions of ash trees in Canada since it first arrived from Asia. On its own, it doesn't move very far. Hiding in firewood, though, it can travel vast distances when that wood is moved by people.

Canadians can do their part by staying informed of how pests spread, reporting suspected sightings, spreading the word and keeping firewood local.

The CFIA is dedicated to preventing the spread of plant pests. The CFIA has import requirements in place, regulates the movement of plant species in Canada, monitors invasive species that are not yet established in Canada, and determines if invasive species are established.

Learn more about invasive species and how to identify them.

What You Can Do to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species

Buy and burn your firewood locally. Transporting wood long distances can lead to a free ride for invasive species of all sorts across Canada.

Know where the wood is coming from. If you buy wood from a local supplier, don't be afraid to ask where it came from. Buy wood that was cut less than 80 kilometres away from where it is being sold.

Don't "judge a book by its cover". Just because you can't see signs of pest infestation doesn't mean the pests aren't there. It can be extremely difficult to notice insects, insect eggs and fungi spores on wood.

Spread the word, not the bug. Tell your family, friends and colleagues. If you are having people over for a fire or going on a group trip, make sure those who are joining you are aware of this threat.


Importing Firewood?

You cannot import firewood from any country, with the exception of certain parts of the United States. For the areas in which it can be imported, strict requirements must be met.

Firewood that does not meet Canada's import requirements will be refused entry, returned to its place of origin or disposed of at the importer's expense. You could also face penalties or prosecution if you do not declare restricted or prohibited items such as firewood. When returning to Canada, declare all foods, animals, plants and related products at customs.

Date modified: