B.C. spruce beetle infestation in northern B.C. forests grows exponentially

A plan to address the latest scourge on British Columbia's forests — the spruce beetle — will include an extra $1 million in funding and the appointment of a spruce beetle project manager.

Native to B.C. and a common forest pest that usually feeds on the inner bark of fallen or weakened trees, the spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) becomes dangerous during serious and prolonged infestations, when it is capable of killing healthy trees.

The current infestation has taken over 156,000 hectares of forest in the Omineca region of northern B.C., the largest outbreak since the 1980s and a huge increase from the 7,653 hectares affected in the last infestation in 2013.