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SLO County says buy local and don’t get ripped off when buying firewood

Don’t get ripped off and buy local – that’s what San Luis Obispo County is asking people to do when buying firewood this season. They say some firewood could carry a tree killing insect. They also say you could get ripped off if you don’t make sure you’re getting the right amount for your dollar.

Locally produced firewood – like the kind Salvador Zuniga chops at Bunyon Bros in San Luis Obispo. That’s the kind the county is asking you to buy.

“From San Luis to Santa Maria, Paso Robles, everywhere,” Bunyon Bros employee Salvador Zuniga said.

Tuesday afternoon, Zuniga and his guys were cutting and slicing thousands of pounds of firewood to be sold on the Central Coast.

“Three kinds of wood here, Eucalyptus, pine and oak,” Zuniga said.

The San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture says buying locally produced firewood is important.

“We want to make sure that firewood isn’t harboring any sort of detrimental pests that could damage our environment and damage the trees that are here,” Brenda Ouwerkerk with the SLO County Department of Agriculture said.

They’ve seen it happen right here in California down in San Diego County where it’s believed that over the past decade, 80,000 trees there were killed by the Goldspotted Oak Borer insect that may have hitched a ride on some firewood from Arizona.

The county is also advising that you make sure you’re not getting shorted when purchasing firewood from local stores.

“Ask the seller to demonstrate that the load that they’re buying is equal to or is a portion of 128 cubic feet of firewood,” Ouwerkerk said.

Some areas of SLO county prohibit burning firewood – you can check if you live in those areas on the county’s Air pollution Control District website:

“Burn the chimney by the Christmas tree and open the presents with the chimney on, yes it’s part of Christmas,” Zuniga said.

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