Fire, Insects and Disease
Forest Fire Prevention and Control
The Division of Forestry maintains an active forest fire prevention program and a specially-trained force of fire fighting personnel to combat fires that burn an average of 500 acres of woodland per year. The Division also has crews ready to assist the US Forest Service in controlling large fires across the nation.
Videos - Dry Hydrants and Fire Protection, Handline Construction for Forest Fire Control
Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) funds are part of a national allotment for rural fire protection under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, as amended by the Forest Stewardship Act of 1990.
Mohawk State Forest Prescribed Burn (Spring 2015). A presentation as to how, under the right conditions, fire can be used as a tool to manage forests in a way that achieves certain objectives. In this case, on Mohawk Mountain, it is to sustain forest aesthetics while also reducing the chance for more severe, uncontrolled fires.
In conjunction with the CT Agricultural Experiment Station, the Division of Forestry is prepared to respond to threats to the health of Connecticut's forests, including those threats posed by insects and disease.
The gypsy moth has been in Connecticut since 1905. Normally the gypsy moth population is low, but due to the droughts of 2015 and 2016, their numbers grew substantially, reaching a peak in 2017. Eastern Connecticut was especially hard hit. Since then, their numbers have returned to normal, with only sporadic, local outbreaks. The gypsy moth is well-known for the damage it does to trees, targeting oaks and most other species of trees in Connecticut.
The Emerald Ash Borer has now been found in Connecticut. This is an insect of great concern, as it spreads rapidly and is capable of severely depleting the number of ash trees growing in the state.
The Asian Longhorned Beetle has been found in Worcester, MA. People in Connecticut are encouraged to be vigilant regarding this highly damaging insect, and to report any suspected findings to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
The Southern Pine Beetle has been found in Connecticut. Until recently, it was considered to be restricted largely to the southeastern states. This is an insect of concern because it can attack and kill healthy pine trees if their numbers are high enough.
The spotted lanternfly has not been found in Connecticut as of April 2019, but is expected to arrive in Connecticut. The public is strongly encouraged to be vigilant regarding this invasive insect, and to report any suspected findings to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.
To learn more about current and potential forest pests, please visit the: CT Agricultural Experiment Station website
To report any suspected findings of these pests, contact:
Deputy State Entomologist Dr. Victoria Smith
CT Agricultural Experiment Station
CT State Entomologist Dr. Kirby Stafford
CT Agricultural Experiment Station
To report a suspected finding or send digital photos to CAES, email: CT Agricultural Experiment Station email
Please - do not bring suspected insects or wood to the Experiment Station - that only increases the danger of spreading the insect.
National Firewood Task Force Recommendations
The movement of firewood has been cited in numerous circumstances as the means by which a highly damaging insect or disease has been transported to a new area. This is of special concern when the insect or disease is an invasive exotic that is not yet established in a region, such as the Asian longhorned beetle, the emerald ash borer or thousand cankers disease. This Task Force has some very specific recommendations about how firewood can be better handled to avoid this problem.
Content last reviewed February 2020