The serial regurgitation in media is impressive. Here’s the money quote:
And the new research dispels the notion that beetle-killed trees present no greater fire danger than live ones, a theory that had gained traction after a couple of wet, cool summers tamped down fire activity in the region, Jolly said. On the contrary, beetle-killed trees can hold 10 times less moisture than live trees, Jolly found. That means they not only ignite more quickly than live trees, but they burn more intensely and carry embers farther than live trees, Jolly said.
I’m not trying to make fun of the pine beetle threat, which is serious, but it seems pretty darned obvious to anyone who has ever has a Christmas tree or seen one of those fire department Christmas tree videos that brown dead pine trees burn quite a bit faster than green ones.
While a model for such a thing in wildlands might be useful, it would seem an almost impossible fire to fight.
Dead pine trees, whether beetle killed or by something else, burn much faster than live ones. On the plus side the article does not mention climate change or global warming.
Full AP story here h/t to reader Steve Keohane