2010-09-13

Could pine beetles actually reduce forest fire risk?

Thousands of tall pine trees killed from the inside out. Large swaths of lush forest turned brown.

There's no doubt that the tiny mountain pine beetle has caused massive destruction along the Pacific Coast. But that doesn't mean that the bug has raised the forest fire risk, says a team of three researchers.

In fact, in some cases, forests destroyed by the beetle may actually be less likely to burn.