Bark beetle devastation growing in Vail area
DENVER ” A new survey shows that bark beetles have killed another 400,000 acres of pine trees in Colorado, boosting to nearly 2 million acres the total area devastated by the outbreak first detected in 1996.
Federal and state officials Friday released the results of a new aerial survey of the epidemic that first took hold in the central mountains. The tiny bugs that burrow under the bark, eventually killing the tree, ravaged 400,000 more acres of trees last year. The survey also showed problems with other trees: The decline of 542,000 acres of large aspen groves and 64,000 acres of beetle-infested spruces.
State and federal officials have spent millions of dollars on treatments and clearing trees attacked by bark beetles to prevent wildfires.