This one is a little tricky. A study was just released saying that forests with lots of beetle killed trees are no more likely to burn than other western forests. What it does not address is fire behavior, once started, in beetle-killed stands . . .
Mountain pine beetles have left vast tracts of dead, dry trees in the West, raising fears that they’re more vulnerable to wildfire outbreaks, but a new study found no evidence that bug-infested forests are more likely to burn than healthy ones.
In a paper released Monday, University of Colorado researchers said weather and terrain are bigger factors in determining whether a forest will burn than beetle invasions.
The findings could provide some comfort to people who live near beetle-infested forests, if those trees are statistically no more likely to burn than healthy forests.