Omineca Spruce Beetle Outbreak

More than 210,000 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.

More than 210,000 hectares of forest in the Omineca region are currently infested by spruce beetles, primarily in the eastern valleys of the Mackenzie Timber Supply Area and the northern portion of the Prince George Natural Resource District, in the Prince George Timber Supply Area.

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)

Mark your calendars! Omineca Spruce Beetle Summit - October 25, 2017 in Prince George

Bark beetle outbreaks are making headlines across North America and Northern British Columbia is no exception. After the recent and unprecedented Mountain Pine Beetle outbreak,  we are now in the middle of the largest spruce beetle outbreak since the 1980s. What is British Columbia’s management approach to the current outbreak? How does this compare to spruce beetle management across Canada and in the Western United States? Please join us for a discussion of the best approaches to spruce beetle management during this current outbreak. We are pleased to have Christopher J. Fettig, Ph.D., Research Entomologist and Team Leader with the USDA Forest Service in Davis California join us as our keynote speaker, with a talk entitled, “What is Happening Out There?  The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Bark Beetles in the Western U.S. and Our Efforts to Manage for Them.”

The event is free. Hope to see you there!

Learn more about the Spruce Beetle Summit