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July 25, 2014
VANCOUVER — With wildfires sweeping across Central Washington, researchers just south in the Columbia River Gorge are taking a close look at a tiny insect that tends to devour healthy pines after the flames die down.
Every year since 2010, they've watched one outbreak after another of the California fivespined ips, a little brown bark beetle that likes to feast on ailing pine trees. Scientists believe the insect is native to California and Oregon but that it's recently begun to thrive in Washington.
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