The 1999-2015 mountain pine beetle outbreak

The area impacted by the mountain pine beetle has declined significantly since 2004. However, B.C. continues to recognise the importance of mountain pine beetle in forestry.

On this page:

Key facts 

The spread of mountain pine beetle increased through the late 1990s and early 2000s. The total area effected was greatest in 2004.

Principal conclusions

  • The worst year of observed red-attack, at a provincial scale, was 2005 with approximately 140 million m3 attacked
  • The volume of red-attack pine has declined rapidly, at a provincial scale, since 2005
  • Approximately 731 million m3 (54%) of B.C.'s merchantable pine volume has likely been killed (red- and grey-attack), which includes approximately 1 million m3 observed as red-attack in summer 2015


The annual volume of timber killed by the mountain pine beetle has been declining since 2004. However, B.C. must continue managing this insect to protect its forests for the future.

Action plans

The 2006 to 2011 Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan guided provincial responses and helped coordinate government, communities, industries and First Nations. It addressed forestry and environmental issues as well as economic, social and cultural sustainability.