Warnings to Leave Firewood Behind Before Traveling

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BRANSON, Mo. — Millions of people will travel for the long holiday weekend including thousands heading to the lakes.

Whether you are heading to the lake to boat or camping in the Ozarks, it is always good to have a checklist but there are some things experts say you should leave off.

With the unofficial start to summer, outdoor enthusiasts are gearing up for one of the biggest weekends of the year, especially for Musicland Kampground owner David Faria.

“Tomorrow, we’ve got about 40 rigs coming in.”

Despite the messy weather prediction, Faria said campers are flocking to the Ozarks.

“The main thing we are trying to do is just be prepared as far as our work through and system,” said Faria.

The Department of Conservation is warning people to leave some things at home including firewood.

“Any time you move firewood into another region across the state or country, you have the possibility of introducing a new type of pest.”

Community Forester Cindy Garner said it can be a costly mistake.

“If it is an exotic introduction of a pest or disease, then obviously, right away, we don’t know how to combat that.”

There are ways to keep the camping tradition alive without transporting firewood.

“Find out if they sell firewood right there locally or they might have a list of vendors,” said Garner.

Since the Emerald Ash Borer crisis, Missouri has been a participant of a national program to help educate people about potential dangers of moving firewood.

“It was total clearance, clearing, of all ash trees in entire states like Michigan.”

Garner claims short distances may be safe but the longer the travel, the higher the risk.

“If you are camping 50 miles away from home, that would be acceptable to move it. But if it turns into crossing state lines or moving north to south of the state, then you want to make sure you are checking right there on site.”

Faria said, no matter what the weather, his staff is preparing to make Memorial Day weekend memorable.

“We are a little worried about tomorrow but we are gearing up to make sure we can handle that.”

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