Is the Sawtooth a tinderbox? National recreations area faces fire threat of beetle-killed trees

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is preparing for a possibly heightened fire season this year, due to an overabundance of dead trees.

Many consider the mountain pine beetle’s attack on SNRA forests to have crested. But while the beetles may be leaving, the trees they killed remain.

These dead trees are falling over. And according to recent research, they can ignite up to three times faster than the green needles on a healthy, living tree.