Bark beetle outbreaks have resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of conifers on approximately 30 million hectares of forested lands in western North America during the last decade. Many forests remain susceptible to bark beetle infestation and will continue to experience high levels of conifer mortality until suitable host trees are depleted, or natural factors cause populations to collapse. Stand conditions and drought, combined with warming temperatures, have contributed to the severity of these outbreaks, particularly in high-elevation forests.

Conventional wisdom suggests that large scale bark beetle outbreaks alter fuel complexes resulting in an increased potential for severe fires. Conversely, fires damage trees that may predispose them to bark beetle attack. In reality there is little specific quantified data supporting these assertions, and until recently, relationships between fire and western bark beetles in forests of North America have not been extensively studied. The magnitude of recent outbreaks and large wildfires has resulted in a flurry of research attempting to quantify bark beetle/fire/fuel interactions.
 
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2009

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Bark beetle-caused mortality in a drought-affected ponderosa pine landscape in Arizona, USA, J. F. Negrón, J. D. McMillin, J. D. Anhold, and D. Coulson; Forest Ecology and Management

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Response of bark beetles and their natural enemies to fire and fire surrogate treatments in mixed-conifer forests in western Montana, Diana L. Six and Kjerstin Skov; Forest Ecology and Management

2008

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Developing Fire Behavior Fuel Models for the Wildland–Urban Interface in Anchorage, Alaska, Daniel Cheyette, T. Scott Rupp, and Sue Rodman; Western Journal of Applied Forestry

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Climate Factors Associated with Historic Spruce Beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Outbreaks in Utah and Colorado, Elizabeth G. Hebertson and Michael J. Jenkins; Environmental Entomology

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Bark Beetles, Fuels, Fires and Implications for Forest Management in the Intermountain West, Michael J. Jenkins, Elizabeth Hebertson, Wesley Page, and C. Arik Jorgensen; Forest Ecology and Management

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Annotated Bibliography for Forest Managers on Fire-Bark Beetle Interactions, Martin Simard, Erinn N. Powell, Jacob M. Griffin, Kenneth F. Raffa, and Monica G. Turner; USFS Western Wildlands Environmental Threats Assessment Center

2007

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Fire, fuels, and restoration of ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forests in the Rocky Mountains, W. L. Baker, T. T. Veblen, and R. L. Sherriff; Journal Biogeography

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Fire, fuels, and restoration of ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forests in the Rocky Mountains, USA, W. L. Baker, T. T. Veblen, and R. L. Sherriff; Journal of Biogeography

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Effectiveness of Vegetation Management Practices for Prevention and Control of Bark Beetle Infestations in Coniferous Forests of the Western and Southern United States, Christopher J. Fettig, Kier D. Klepzig, Ronald F. Billings, A. Steven Munson, T. Evan Nebeker, Jose F. Negron, and John T. Nowak; Forest Ecology and Management

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Influence of Fallen Tree Timing on Spruce Beetle Brood Production, Elizabeth G. Hebertson and Michael J. Jenkins; Western North American Naturalist

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Predicting Postfire Douglas-Fir Beetle Attacks and Tree Mortality in the Northern Rocky Mountains, Sharon Hood and Barbara Bentz; Canadian Jorunal of Forest Research

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Relative Influence of Diseases and Other Small-Scale Disturbances on Fuel Loading in the Black Hills, J E. Lundquist; Plant Disease

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Fire climbing in the forest: A semiqualitative, approach to assessing ladder fuel hazards, K. M. Menning and S. L. Stephens; Western Journal of Applied Forestry

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Mountain Pine Beetle-Induced Changes to Selected Lodgepole Pine Fuel Complexes within the Intermountain Region, Wesley G. Page and Michael J. Jenkins; Forest Science

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Predicted Fire Behavior in Selected Mountain Pine Beetle-Infected Lodgepole Pine, Wesley Page and Michael J. Jenkins; Forest Science

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Virulence of, and interactions among mountain pine beetle associated blue-stain fungi on two pine species and their hybrids in Alberta, A. V. Rice, M. N. Thormann, and D. W. Langor; Canadian Journal of Botany

2006

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Collaborative Capacity, Problem Framing, and Mutual Trust in Addressing the Wildland Fire Social Problem : An Annotated Reading List, Jeffrey J. Brooks, Alexander N. Bujak, Joseph G. Champ, and Daniel R. Williams

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Landscape analyses of Douglas-fir beetle populations in northern Idaho, K. J. Dodds, S. L. Garman, and D. W. Ross; Forest Ecology and Management

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Risk rating systems for the Douglas-fir beetle in the Interior Western United States, K. J. Dodds, S. L. Garman, and D. W. Ross; Western Journal of Applied Forestry

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The Effects of Mechanical Fuel Reduction Treatments on the Activity of Bark Beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) Infesting Ponderosa Pine, Christopher J. Fettig, Joel D. McMillin, John A. Anhold, Shakeeb M. Hamud, Robert R. Borys, Christopher P. Dabney, and Steven J. Seybold; Forest Ecology and Management

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Fuels and Fire Behavior in Chipped and Unchipped Plots: Implications for Land Management Near the Wildland/Urban Interface, Jeff S. Glitzenstein, Donna R. Streng, Gary L. Achtemeier, Luke P. Naeher, and Dale D. Wade; Forest Ecology and Management

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Interactions among fire, insects and pathogens in coniferous forests of the interior western United States and Canada, T. J. Parker, K. M. Clancy, and R. L. Mathiasen; Agricultural and Forest Entomology

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Estimating canopy fuel characteristics in five conifer stands in the western United States using tree and stand measurements, E. Reinhardt, J. Scott, K. Gray, and R. Keane; Canadian Journal of Forest Research

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Comparison of crown fire modeling systems used in three fire management applications, J. H. Scott; USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Paper

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Irrationality of Continued Fire Suppression : An Avoided Cost Analysis of Fire Hazard Reduction Treatments Versus No Treatment, Gary Snider, P J. Daugherty, and D Wood; Journal of Forestry