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California Drought has Killed 12 Million Forest Trees since 2014

Posted by feww on May 5, 2015

Eureka: Millions of dead trees intensify forest fire danger in the Golden State

The catastrophic drought in California has killed more than 12 million trees across the Golden state’s forests over the past year, according to an aerial survey conducted the U.S. Forest Service last month.

Using a digital mapping system, while flying in a fixed-wing aircraft about 300m above ground, a USFS team visually surveyed the forests.

The surveyors tracked about 8.4 million acres in Cleveland, San Bernardino, Angeles and Los Padres National Forests, as well as the Southern Sierra Nevada, and documented a total of more than 12 million dead trees.

The surveyors found substantial pine mortality in San Diego County, especially across the Cleveland National Forest and Mt. Laguna.

A ferocious forest fire that burned for nearly three months late last summer and early fall consumed about quarter-million acres of forest around the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County, northern California.

As of last week (April 28, 2015) some 99.86 percent of California was abnormally dry or plagued by drought drought levels D1 – D4.

  • Drought levels D1 – D4: 98.11 percent of the land area
  • Drought levels D2 – D4: 93.44 percent
  • Drought levels D3 – D4: 66.60 percent
  • Drought levels D4: 46.77 percent

Drought conditions in California are expected to intensify as the dry season begins.

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