March 23, 2013 7:06 pm

One-fifth of B.C.’s forests at risk for wildfires due to the pine beetle infestation

Parks Canada biologist Dave Smith stands by a century-old lodgepole pine in Jasper that was killed by mountain pine beetles.

Read it on Global News: Global BC | One-fifth of B.C.'s forests at risk for wildfires due to the pine beetle infestation

Parks Canada biologist Dave Smith stands by a century-old lodgepole pine in Jasper that was killed by mountain pine beetles. Read it on Global News: Global BC | One-fifth of B.C.'s forests at risk for wildfires due to the pine beetle infestation

Ed Struzik, Postmedia News files
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According to B.C. forestry experts, the future of the province’s forest industry could be in jeopardy.

They say one fifth of B.C.’s working forests are at risk for major wildfires never seen before in this province because of the millions of hectares of pine beetle killed wood.

All the dead timber has built up on forest floors, and is creating a dangerous level of fire fuel.

“They’re going to be of increasing severity in frequency, they’re going to be larger, they’re going to move faster across the landscape, they’re going to take out whatever’s in front of them, including our parks, our inventory, our transmission cords, our water sheds, and even some of our communities,” said John Betts with the Western Silvicultural Association.

“I’m afraid that’s in the future, it’s not just being forecast here, it’s happening in other jurisdictions, and we’re going to see that happen here. We need to be preparing for that.”

© 2013 Shaw Media

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