Pine beetles not responsible for wildfires

A U.S. study showing that the beetle infestations in the U.S. Pacific Northwest are not as much of a fire hazard as previously feared may not be directly applicable to B.C., according to UBC forest fire expert Lori Daniels.

Daniels told the Globe and Mail that the pine-beetle epidemic that hit B.C. in the 1990s mainly affects lodgepole pine and was more severe in the province than in Washington and Oregon, where there’s a varied mix of tree species.

“In parts of our province, it was almost pure lodgepole pine that was being affected…which means there wasn’t a large amount of residual green trees [left alive],” Daniels said. “So that’s quite a different scenario than a mixed conifer forest where only a portion of the stand was affected.”