Jan 15, 2011 12:26 PM by Ap
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - Tree-killing beetles are spreading east from Colorado's lodgepole pines to ponderosa pine forests in Boulder County and other areas along the Front Range.
The U.S. Forest Service tells the Daily Camera that pine beetles attacked 36,000 acres of trees in Boulder County last year, up from 1,600 acres in 2009.
Colorado's beetle epidemic started in lodgepole pines in the central and northern mountains, but is spreading to the forests east of the Continental Divide.
Bark beetle infestations are considered part of natural cycles, but experts say drought and warmer temperatures make the current outbreak worse. The region hasn't had prolonged freezing temperatures that would help kill the bugs, and drought has weakened the trees.
Information from: Daily Camera, http://www.dailycamera.com/
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)