Campfires are a staple part of any summer. If you do plan on having a campfire, be sure to only buy and burn local wood.

Dr. Rory McIntosh, Provincial Forest, Insect and Disease Expert, said bringing in out-of-province wood can wreak havoc on ecosystems, "Insects and diseases can be transported either inside of the wood or under the bark in firewood. It's one of the major pathways of spreading invasive insects or diseases."

Invasive species, such as the emerald ash borer or mountain pine beetles, can kill entire forests, as McIntosh explained, "Transporting of the material from an area where it's infected... you move the disease around and bring the ability of the insect that causes the disease. You carry them to new locations, they re-infest and start infecting trees a long ways away from the centre of the outbreak."

The emerald ash borer, found in eastern parts of Canada, targets ash trees. McIntosh said this insect was detected as west as Winnipeg just before Christmas, "Some ash trees were found to be failing and looking like they're getting a crown dieback."

The mountain pine beetle, found to the west and south of Saskatchewan, has killed entire BC forests by killing the trees and leaving the dried out remains which are susceptible to forest fires.

McIntosh said invasive species like these are often found overseas and were likely transported to North America by pallet wood or wood packages through national trades. "That's often a way that invasive species enter Canada."

He noted they're working hard to prevent them from crossing Saskatchewan borders, "They're both a major concern. What we've done to deal with them, is we've put out a restriction order which restricts pine forest products with bark attached from Alberta, British Columbia and the United States. On the eastern side, we've put out a restriction order for ash trees, logs, and materials from Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the United States. These restriction orders helps keep the insects or disease out of the province."

Moving firewood from infected areas can be a violation of Canada's Plant Protection Act. Penalties for doing so can cost up to $50,000.

However, the restrictions are only effective if people follow them. "If you bring just one load of firewood in, it can kill entire ecosystems. We really rely on the public to follow the local laws and regulations and rules and make sure they educate themselves on the effects of invasive species. Our message is buy local, burn local."

More Local News

Scott Moe Strengthening Trade Relationships with China

Saskatchewan Premier, Scott Moe, is in China this week for a trade mission to shine the spotlight on our provinces resources and discuss further mutual beneficial trade opportunities. Moe left for…

Charges Laid in Outlook Animal Cruelty Case

The Outlook RCMP have laid charges in a case involving animal cruelty. The RCMP initially reached out to the public for any information regarding the incident earlier in September. The report read,…

Wheatland Regional Centre's Sod Turning Ceremony

The rainy weather didn't stop the Rosetown Wheatland Regional Centre's sod turning ceremony. Instead of being held outside at the new site, the ceremony was held indoors at the current building.…

Making the Grass Greener on Your Side of the Fence

As the leaves change colour and fall from the trees, gardening and lawn care may not be top-of-mind but fall is a great time to do some outdoor preparations, making your efforts in spring much for…
well 1 kari burnett

Funding to Decommission Abandoned Wells

(photo: Kari Burnett)Abandoned wells can be a hazard if left and forgotten about. The Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program has available funding for agriculture producers, First Nations, Rural…

Local Business Owner Raises Over $200,000 for STARS

Kindersley local and business owner, jumped aboard the STARS Air Ambulance yesterday for the Rescue on the Prairies campaign. Garth MacDonald, president and CEO for G-Mac in Kindersley, joined four…

Alsask Raises Thousands of Dollars for Cancer Research

The community of Alsask held their 36th Annual Terry Fox walk/run event on Sunday morning, and had another spectacular turnout from the extended area. Community members had the option to walk, run,…

Luseland War Memorial Painted by Jared Fischer

Luseland has added a unique piece of artwork to their cemetery recently to represent Canadian soldiers. "I was put in charge of taking care of anything that went on in the cemetery," explained Town…

2nd Annual Walk for Mental Awareness in Memory of Cole Bosch

The town of Unity has really come together in a time of need as they held the 2nd Annual Walk for Mental Awareness on Saturday afternoon. Mental health continues to be talked about more and more each…

UPDATE: Amber Alert Cancelled - Child Has Been Located

Update from RCMP This morning at approximately 6:45 am, members of the North Battleford Detachment received information from workers in a remote, industrial area within the city limits, of a vehicle…

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login