DSC_0120 Burning Driftwood Saves Trees

I have seen signs in WA State Parks telling us not to collect and burn driftwood.

If burning driftwood was OK- trees and other natural resources could be saved while reducing pollution at the same time.

Probably the most popular version of firewood for camping comes in the plastic shrink-wrapped bundles.

What is their story?

A big smokey truck drives into the hills to cut trees, at day’s end the truck returns to the firewood bundle processing facility where the wood is cut, split and wrapped in plastic by employees who each drove their own vehicle to the factory to start their shift.

The next day a big truck takes the wood bundles to the big grocery store warehouse facility where the bundles are offloaded by forklift.

The forklift is powered by highly toxic rechargeable lead/acid batteries.

The next day a big truck comes to take the wood bundles to a local grocery store.

The bundles are offloaded by forklift. The next day we are on our way to go camping and stop to buy firewood.

We load up the wood in our own vehicle, gas up, and head to the park.

The restriction on burning driftwood may have to do with preserving the natural beauty of the beach. Occasionally, driftwood may be a hazard to boaters. Not seeing any problem in burning untreated wood.

It would be helpful to have some written explanation of this policy posted on the State Park’s website and in the parks.

Rules are easier to understand and follow when they include an educational component. Not this time- this is a “Because we said so” rule.

Of course, there is always the option to have no fire at all, but I like having a campfire.

I grew up in Kitsap County in the 60s & 70s. Beach fires were a common thing.


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Photo- A piece of firewood that got away and became driftwood.