The number of dead trees in California’s forests dramatically increased in just one year. The latest survey from the United States Forest Service revealed that an additional 26 million trees have succumbed to drought, a devastating bark beetle infestation, and hotter temperatures in 2015. That brings the number of trees that have died in the Sierra Nevada to 66 million since 2010.
For a state already in the throes of fire season, the discovery of a 65 percent increase in the number of dead trees within its forests is a troubling sign.
“These new numbers really show that the tree die-off is spreading at an astronomical rate,” said Amy Head, a Cal Fire education officer.
“It’s unprecedented, and it’s changing the landscape of whole ecosystems in California.”
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