Invasive pest found in Oak Glen

Forest and fire officials ask for the public’s help to stop pest’s spread

An invasive beetle native to southeastern Arizona that can kill oaks native to California, has been detected in recently killed California black oak trees, Quercus kelloggii, in Oak Glen.

Larvae of the Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB), Agrilus auroguttatus, extracted by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) and U.S. Forest Service personnel from under the tree bark were subjected to analysis by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and confirmed to be GSOB. This new detection represents the fifth long-distance movement of the beetle from its known areas of infestation in San Diego, Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties.

It is believed that the movement of GSOB-infested firewood started the infestation in Oak Glen. It is  critical to take precautions to avoid transporting infested firewood. Here are some immediate steps to help prevent the spread of GSOB:

• Use firewood harvested from the local area – “Buy it Where you Burn It.” Visit firewood.ca.gov and firewoodscout.org.

• When traveling, don’t transport firewood from your home or neighborhood to recreational cabins,

campgrounds or parks that you’re going to visit. Buy firewood at your destination and leave behind any

leftover firewood in case it contains pests. Don’t pack a pest!

Visit dontpackapest.com/.

Any community or area that has coast live oaks (Q. agrifolia), California black oaks or canyon live oaks (Q. chrysolepis) is vulnerable to GSOB infestation. Communities with significant oak populations include the San Bernardino mountain communities and surrounding national forest lands. Cal Fire and the San Bernardino National Forest will collaborate to develop a response plan for GSOB in Oak Glen and San Bernardino County.

In the interim, at-risk communities should become familiar with the GSOB threat, prevention measures, how to detect and report suspected GSOB, rapid response planning and infestation management at gsob.org.

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