2007-09-21

Western Canadian pine beetle infestation spreads

Voracious beetles that have ravaged more than 9 million hectares (35,000 square miles) of British Columbia's forests have wiped out about 40 percent of the infested region's marketable pine trees, according to a report released on Monday.

The pine beetle infestation has spread unabated for eight years and unless weather conditions change to keep the tiny bugs in check, the amount of trees killed by 2015 in Canada's largest lumber exporting province will likely reach about 1 billion cubic meters (35.3 billion cubic feet), according to a provincial analysis.