WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Park officials are asking Iowa campers to burn all their firewood to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer.
In Black Hawk County, park staff began making that request to Memorial Day weekend campers in hopes that wood carrying the insect wouldn't be moved from place to place.
The insect has been found in nine Iowa counties: Allamakee, Des Moines, Jefferson, Cedar, Union, Black Hawk, Wapello, Bremer and Jasper.
Vern Fish, the Black Hawk County Conservation Board's executive director, notes the insects don't travel far on their own, but "they're carried in the back of a pickup truck."
Emerald ash borers destroy ash trees over several years. Some Iowa communities already have begun cutting ash trees in anticipation of the insects' arrival.