Nearly one in every 14 standing trees in Colorado forests is dead, and the possibility of even more in Summit County could come as early as this summer.
A study released Wednesday by the Colorado State Forest Service out of Colorado State University calculated an estimated 834 million dead trees, many of them succumbing to two beetle epidemics. That’s a tree casualty increase of almost 30 percent in the last seven years.
Summit County, on the White River National Forest, was a forest system hit extremely hard by the decades-long mountain pine beetle infestation. Scores of lodgepole in the Dillon Ranger District remain in need of treatment. That leaves the region at risk of significant fire danger.