CAL FIRE: Bark beetle infestation in beginning stages

CAL FIRE: Bark beetle infestation in beginning stages

CAL FIRE is asking the state to be aware of dead or dying trees as bark beetles become more aggressive.

The agency called the outbreak an epidemic and is asking everyone to be diligent of the threat as we enter the 2016 wildfire season.

Forest Practice Inspector for CAL FIRE, Shannon Johnson, said the bark beetle infestation in the Northstate is not as extreme as southern and central California.

CAL FIRE even posted a picture from Madera County on Monday night showing the difference between this year and 2015.

"I believe it's because of the drought situation. It's been occurring there longer than it has up here. We had the bark beetle issue down in San Bernardino in the early 2000's so possibly it could be migrating from that," said Johnson.

She added there are signs that the Northstate is in the beginning stages of it's own outbreak of bark beetles and it's growing.

The hardest hit areas so far are along the western edge of Shasta, Tehama and Glenn counties. They've also seen an increase in the Fall River Valley and Burney Basin areas.

Johnson said as more trees die the amount of dry fuel for wildfires increases. She suggested removing them as soon as possible if on your property.

For more information on permits, the signs of bark beetles and a map highlighting the hardest hit spots in the state visit CAL FIRE's special website.

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