The state of Illinois has dropped the emerald ash borer quarantine.

The state has dropped its quarantine on the movement of firewood and ash trees within Illinois, acknowledging that it’s too late to limit the spread of the emerald ash borer beetle.

“It kind of does seem like we’re throwing in the towel,” said Scott Schirmer, plant and pesticide specialist supervisor for the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “We’ve spent almost 10 years to work on this and regulate this, and I think it’s slowed down the spread and bought people time. But the extent of the bug at this point tells us it’s effectively time to deregulate.”

The 2015 survey of traps revealed that 10 more counties had been affected by the invasive beetle, making the total 60 out of 102 counties in Illinois.

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