The spread of mountain pine beetles is slowing in Wyoming, according to a survey from the U.S. Forest Service.
Beetles killed 180,000 new acres of trees in 2012, but only 82,000 acres in 2013.
The Forest Service’s Aaron Voos says it’s not surprising.
“They’ve kind of eaten themselves out of house and home,” Voos said. “All of the trees that were susceptible to attack … have been either eaten and are now dead and dying, or they were able to fend off the epidemic and have developed some sort of resiliency.”
The aggressive fire season of the last few years has gotten the attention of the U-S Forest Service.
Officials say they are trying to study the fires to determine how to reduce both the number of fires and their severity to get a better understanding of their impact on the environment. It’s been widely thought that fires are good for forests, but Department of Agriculture officials want to know more. U-S-D-A Deputy Under Secretary Butch Blazer says there is concern that there may be negative impacts.