Illinois ash borer firewood restrictions dropped

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state of Illinois says it will allow the movement of firewood from non-coniferous trees within the state as part of the effort to stop the emerald ash borer.

The state Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that the bug has now been confirmed in 60 counties. The restriction had been intended to slow the spread of the bug.

Plant and pesticide specialist supervisor Scott Schirmer said the ash borer is now too widespread for the restrictions to be effective.

Missouri, Iowa and Kentucky previously allowed the movement of firewood.

Ash borers have killed more than 250 million ash trees since their first U.S. detection in Michigan in 2002.