Spruce beetle spreads in B.C. Interior

Biggest infestations in 30 years identified in Prince George area, spreading with help from recent dry, warm and windy conditions

The B.C. government is moving to contain an infestation of spruce beetles in the Prince George area that is the largest seen since the 1980s.

The affected area has grown from 7,653 hectares in 2013 to 156,000 hectares this spring, according to aerial and ground surveys by the forests ministry. Spruce beetles are native to B.C. and normally feed on the inner bark of fallen or weakened trees, but can attack healthy trees.

“Recent weather patterns, including warm springs, dry summers, warm winters and windstorms (resulting in more blowdowns), have contributed to the increase in spruce beetle populations in the region,” the ministry said in a statement Friday.

A $1 million fund has been set aside for control activities, including “sanitation logging” of infested areas. Protected areas and those that are uneconomic to log are treated using “trap trees.”

The affected areas are in the eastern valleys of the Mackenzie timber supply area and the northern part of the Prince George timber supply areas. Both are in the Omineca region, an area more than nine million hectares with 4.7 million available for logging.

[Ministry fact sheet here.]

Just Posted

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

Surrey school trustees want to see reliance on portables reduced by 50% in five years

Board votes unanimously to request a meeting with Minister of Education

UPDATE: Police seeking witnesses to fatal Surrey hit-and-run

A pedestrian was killed Thursday night in a crash on Highway 10 near 152nd Street

Surrey woman with autism has scooter stolen from SkyTrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

‘Old-Timers’ bring competitive hockey to North Delta rink

A group of 600 athletes ages 50 and older meet weekly to compete in Canada’s winter sport

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

UPDATE: Police ID man in suspicious Richmond death

A body was found in the area of Garden City and Odlin Roads in Richmond just after 8:30am Thursday

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read