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September 8, 2017

6.3 billion dead trees threaten fire crews

  • A massive infestation of beetles has been the leading cause of tree mortality in the West, and accounts for about 20 percent of the standing dead trees.
  • By DAN ELLIOTT
    Associated Press

    ALBANY, Wyo. — Vast stands of dead timber in the Western U.S. have forced firefighters to shift tactics, trying to stay out of the shadow of lifeless, unstable trees that could come crashing down with deadly force.

    About 6.3 billion dead trees are still standing in 11 Western states, up from 5.8 billion five years ago, according to U.S. Forest Service statistics compiled for The Associated Press.


     
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