An invasive beetle that is blamed for killing thousands of oak trees in San Diego and Riverside counties has been detected in Orange County, prompting officials today to warn the public about the dangers of transporting firewood out of the area.

The Gold Spotted Oak Borer was detected in about 60 trees in the north part of the county on park land, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. The pest is conveyed in oak firewood, so officials warned the public to not move any lumber out of the area.

It’s believed the beetle made the jump to Orange County through infested firewood.

“The public plays a key role in stopping the spread of the (Gold Spotted Oak Borer),” said Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Todd Spitzer, who also serves on the fire authority’s board.

“When choosing firewood, make sure you buy it from a local source and not from out of the area,” he said. “This infestation could have devastating effects on Orange County and all of California and we all must work to stop its spread.”

County officials advise residents to leave firewood at home, “buy it where you burn it,” and not take firewood to recreational cabins, campgrounds or parks.

City News Service

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