Omineca Spruce Beetle Outbreak

More than 341,000 hectares of forest in the Omineca Region are currently infested by spruce beetles. This number is considerably higher than normally would be expected (e.g., only 7,653 hectares in 2013) and represents the biggest spruce beetle outbreak in British Columbia since the 1980s.

Key Facts

The spruce beetle is native to British Columbia and is regularly seen in forested areas, but higher-than-normal populations have been detected in the Omineca region.

Since 2014, the B.C. Government has been actively identifying tree stands in this region where adult beetles and their young are present.

The total estimated spruce beetle attack in the Omineca Region is approximately 341,000 hectares, most of which (251,000 hectares) is in the Prince George Natural Resource District. This is up from approximately 210,000 hectares of spruce beetle-infested forest detected in 2016.

Although this outbreak is a concern, the situation is not comparable to the spread of the mountain pine beetle in recent decades.

Past outbreaks have lasted up to seven years.

Government is closely monitoring the situation to minimize any impacts on timber supply, the forest industry and forestry jobs and will continue to work with forest licensees and other stakeholders to identify affected areas, evaluate population control methods and determine the most effective ways to limit the current outbreak.

Factsheet on spruce beetles in British Columbia (PDF)