Martinez: Drought, warming harm Sierra trees

Would you believe, more than 120 million trees have died in the Sierra in just the last decade, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy says.
Climate change and drought have taken a toll on our Sierra trees, and with not much rain since the summer, it’s a tinderbox as we’ve seen.
The lack of rain makes trees vulnerable to the Bark Beetle, which bores itself into the tree and eventually kills it.
Our recent hot and dry summers and mild winters are perfect breeding grounds.
If you see a stand of brown looking trees in the mountains, they have been infested by the beetles and must be cut down, arborists say.
The U.S. Forest Service works hard to clear out some of the dead trees with prescribed burns, but many are still standing and that provides even more fuel for our wildfires.
This is the deadliest and most destructive fire season in California history, as the Camp Fire continues burning near Chico, and the Woolsey fire near Los Angeles.
Early this year we had the Ferguson, Carr and Mendocino Complex Fire, the largest in the state’s history.
Unfortunately, our dry weather pattern and high fire danger continues for the next several days.
Bark Beetle infestation report by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy: Here’s another good study on the Bark Beetle infestation by the USDA Forest Service: The U.S. Forest Service does prescribed burns in the Sierra to help mitigate wildfires, here’s more information on the program:

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