CALIFORNIA - The number of dead trees in California from the drought has reached a record high with this year's numbers, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
On Monday, the U.S. Forest Service said an additional 27 million trees died throughout the state since November 2016. That brings the total number of trees that have died due to the drought and bark beetles to a historic 129 million trees.
The number of dead and dying trees, which were mostly conifers this year, continues to rise. The associated risks to communities in the event of a wildfire increases with that spike.
Despite record rainfall last winter, foresters said the state's trees haven't yet recovered from five consecutive years of severe drought. The dead trees are hazardous to people and critical infrastructure in the central and southern Sierra Nevada region of California.
The Tree Mortality Task Force is working on removing the hazardous dead and dying trees and increasing the pace and scale of prescribed fire with Cal Fire.