Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

May 1, 2011

Study: Pine-beetle infestation causes trees to ignite faster

From the Associated Press

"The red needles of a tree killed in a mountain pine beetle attack can ignite up to three times faster than the green needles of a healthy tree, new research into the pine beetle epidemic has found.

The findings by U.S. Forest Service ecologist Matt Jolly are being used by fellow ecologist Russ Parsons to develop a new model that will eventually aid firefighters who battle blazes in the tens of millions of acres from Canada to Colorado where forest canopies have turned from green to red from the beetle outbreak.

Jolly and Parsons will present their research Wednesday in Helena at a seminar on wildfires and the mountain pine beetle held by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. The seminar will also host researchers from the University of Idaho and British Columbia, where the beetle infestation covers an estimated 43 million acres, which is more than 67,000 square miles."

More information about the Mountain Pine Beetle Forum can be found on their website.

For more stories on pine beetle infestation, visit our collection.

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