2016-04-28

Pine beetles not responsible for wildfires, research shows

There have been growing fears in British Columbia that an increasing number of catastrophic wildfires could erupt because more than 18 million hectares of forest have been killed by a pine-beetle epidemic over the past two decades.

But new research shows that beetle infestations affecting millions of hectares in the U.S. Pacific Northwest have not been causing more severe wildfires.

“Insect outbreak areas may not be as much of a fire hazard as we previously thought,” Garrett Meigs, the lead author of the study, said in an interview on Thursday.