Record 66 Million Trees Dead in Southern Sierra Nevada

The U.S. Forest Service announced that it has identified an additional 26 million trees dead in California since October 2015. These trees are located in six counties across 760,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada region of the state, and are in addition to the 40 million trees that died statewide from 2010 to October 2015, bringing the total to at least 66 million dead trees. Four consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and warmer temperatures are leading to historic levels of tree die-off.

Idaho Preparing for Summer Wildfire Season

With the onset of very hot temperatures increasing the potential for larger fires in Idaho, the summer wildfire season clearly is under way.

The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) is finalizing its review for fire season preparedness with all the Idaho Resource Areas and the combinations of suppression resources are ready for the tough months ahead.

“Our goal is to take strong aggressive action with new fire starts and keep fires to less than 10 acres on State-protected lands,” State Forester David Groeschl said.

Jonathon Motsinger Receives Bronze Smokey Bear Award

Texas A&M Forest Service Staff Forester Jonathon Motsinger received a Bronze Smokey Bear Award this week. Motsinger was honored at the Southern Group of State Foresters’ annual meeting in Mobile, Alabama for his innovative method to share Smokey Bear’s wildfire prevention message.

Motsinger created the Smokey Bear 70th Birthday Geocoin, which enables geocachers to locate, move, and log-in 70 trackable Smokey geocoins throughout the world. The Smokey Bear 70th Birthday geocoins are engraved with Smokey’s famous slogan, “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

Tree Mortality Poses Wildfire Threat in Pacific Northwest

The impacts of the last three years of drought are finally manifesting themselves throughout the Pacific Northwest. Douglas firs have been affected the most, dying off and peppering the landscape with burnt-orange needles. The die-offs come despite a rather wet winter, as recent drought and associated beetle infestations stressed the trees. In certain areas, cold, dry east winds from last winter froze the foliage of many coniferous trees, leaving trees green on one side and orange on the other.

Southeastern Cohesive Fire Strategy Website Redesigned

In partnership with the Southeastern Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy Coordinator, the office of the Southern Regional Extension Forester (SREF) is pleased to announce the updated Southeastern Strategy website, now with new resources that serve to increase landscape resiliency and community protection and ensure a safe, effective and risk-based fire response.