DENVER, Oct. 16 (UPI) — A massive tree removal project is being expanded in Colorado to prevent pines killed by beetles from falling on hikers and motorists, officials said.
Pine beetles have devastated an estimated 2.5 million acres in Colorado and more trees are falling in the wind as rotting root systems weaken, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Janelle Smith said.
“We’re very concerned about it, so we’re taking precautions,” Smith told The Denver Post in a story published Friday.
Dead trees within the White River National Forest are being added to a $15 million program already underway in the Arapaho-Roosevelt and Medicine Bow-Routt forests, Smith said. The trees are to be felled by contract workers and prison inmates working with firefighters and forest service officials, White River spokesman Pat Thrasher said.
While no major accidents have occurred, forest service workers and hikers have reported near-misses from falling trees on trails and roads, Thrasher said.
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