Year Published: 2016
Description: Recently, wildfires and prescribed burning have become more frequent in conifer forests of western North America. Most studies examining the impacts of insects on trees with post-fire injury have focused on contributions to tree mortality. Few studies have examined fire-caused injuries to estimate the probability of attack by insects. Scant data quantifying insect associations with one another, or with live and dead fire-injured trees, are available. We examined live and dead trees with varying levels of fire injury in wildfires in Colorado, Montana, Arizona and the Black Hills aiming to determine fire injury associated with insect infestation, co-occurrence between insects and insect association with live and dead fire-injured trees. Bole scorch height estimated the likelihood of attack by Ips spp. Diameter at breast height, bole scorch height and crown scorch height estimated the likelihood of attack by Dendroctonus valens LeConte. Diameter at breast height and bole scorch height estimated the likelihood of attack by wood borers. Ips spp., Dendroctonus valens and wood borers were associated with one another. Ips spp. beetles and wood borers were associated with dead fire-injured trees, whereas D. valens was often associated with live fire-injured trees. Focusing on certain fire-caused injuries may identify trees targeted by Ips spp. beetles, Dendroctonus valens and wood borers.