After some internet searching, couldn’t find more than this AP story, but I’m sure we can find the journal article itself in time.
Study ties pine beetle to severe Wash. wildfires
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
YAKIMA, Wash. — A new study mapping the mountain pine beetle outbreak in north-central Washington shows that infested areas were more likely to experience larger, more destructive forest fires.
The study, which was a collaboration between NASA and the U.S. Forest Service, aimed to detect bark beetle infestations and to evaluate the link between them and forest fires in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
Satellite data showed regions of the forest experiencing water and vegetation stress, and analysis tied these regions to beetle infestations. Additional review showed highly infested areas that subsequently burned had more intense forest fires than areas without infestations.
The forest has experienced severe wildfires in recent years, including the Tripod Fire, which burned on more than 273 square miles.
Now, I have argued that the whole “more/worse fires” controversy isn’t particularly relevant to real-world management decisions, as most bark beetle funding (in lodgepole country) is used on hazard trees and making defensible space around communities. But I could be looking at the world through dead lodgepole-colored glasses. However, every new journal article seems to fan the flames of controversy so here goes..
You can find more photos by Bob Berwyn (and other good information) here at the Summit County Voice.