Two years ago scientists warned that a massive tree die-off in the Sierra Nevada could set the stage for forest conflagrations akin to World War II fire bombings.
The Creek fire, which forced the dramatic helicopter evacuations of more than 200 campers over Labor Day weekend in California, may be a hint of far worse to come in future years.
It is burning in the Sierra National Forest, an epicenter of the bark beetle attacks that killed nearly 150 million drought-stressed trees during the last decade.
The U.S. Forest Service estimates that dead stands in the Creek fire contain 2,000 tons of fuel per acre.
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