Last month, the California State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection adopted a policy that allows CALFIRE to enter into agreements with both public and private landowners and governmental agencies, including the federal government, for controlling the spread of the goldspotted oak borer.

This is a first step in adopting interdiction policies and regulations that could restrict the flow of firewood from infected areas (currently many areas of San Diego County) to uninfected areas such as Riverside County.

GSOB, non-native to California, is especially deadly because it has no natural predators in this state. It originally came from parts of eastern Arizona and from Guatemala and Mexico. Authorities believe GSOB hitchhiked into San Diego County by means of infected firewood. The damage in San Diego County has been extensive, with mortality rates reaching 100 percent for coast live oak, canyon live oak, and California black oak in infected areas. To date, GSOB is responsible for killing 80,000 trees throughout San Diego County said George Gentry, executive officer of the board. “If it continues to spread beyond the county, mortality rates will increase,” he said. “The implications for financial loss are quite high.”

For more information on this action and subsequent follow up, see


  1. It might be a good idea to have agricultural check points set up in the corridors where this firewood could be imported into our mountains, e.g., Hwy 74 @ Valle Vista, Hwy 74 and 371 Junction @ Paradise Corners and Hwy 243 in Banning. There are many different individuals who transport firewood from off the mountain. Need to raise public Awareness to "Not Buy" from anyone who is coming from San Diego County. Even if they are selling other hardwoods they may have sold oak in a previous load and may have infected oak wood and or chips, dirt, etc mixed in with the stuff they are selling. Also, weekenders who may buy a load of wood or even a small bundle in San Diego before they head up the hill. Not sure how well the US Border Patrol checkpoint does at stopping this at Rainbow. But remember, there are no check points from State Route 79 coming from the direction of Julian which connects with other Hwy's in San Diego County. It would be devastating if this disease were to impact out forest. Having three checkpoints would be costly to run but would mitigate a greater future expense of millions of dollars in removal costs as well as the loss to our forest!