GATLINBURG (WATE) – Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now limiting the type of firewood brought into the park in order to protect forests.
Beginning in 2015 the park is requiring all firewood brought into park campgrounds to be heat-treated with a certificate stamp by the USDA or a state department of agriculture.
Rangers say the heat-treated firewood reduces the threat of non-native, tree-killing insects and diseases making their way into the park.
““While a ban on the importation of non-treated firewood will not entirely halt the spread of destructive forest pests and diseases, it will greatly slow it down,” said Acting Superintendent Clayton Jordan.
Heat-treated firewood will be available to purchase in many of the campgrounds. In addition, visitors may still collect dead and down wood in the park for campfires.