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Record 129 Million Dead Trees In California

U.S. Forest Service / Courtesy

U.S. Forest Service / Courtesy

There's a record 129 million dead trees in California, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It means a higher fire danger and hazard to people and property.

In the past couple of years, almost 30 million more trees have withered away, caused by years of drought and devastation brought on by bark beetles.

The hardest hit areas are in the mountains east of Fresno and going northward.

Scott McLean with CAL FIRE said even beyond the obvious fire danger is the threat the trees pose on the ground.

“Those trees that have been dead for awhile, they’re finally falling over," McLean said. "There’s no indicators, they simply fall. So, that’s a life safety situation for those in these areas, living as well as property.”

McLean said 80 agencies including PG&E, Caltrans, and CAL FIRE have removed to date almost a million trees that constitute a threat.

Fire authorities expect to clear over 60 square miles of dead trees with controlled burns and chainsaws in 2018.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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