Tree Mortality Soars
New Figures from the U.S. Forest Service show that there were some 590,000 dead trees in Lake County in 2022, nearly 200 times as many as there were in only two years earlier. In 2019, the number of dead Lake County trees was only 3,000.
With the number of dead trees now covering some 31,000 acres of Lake County, District 5 Supervisor Jessica Pyska calls the situation "catastrophic and confirms everything we have been saying."
In May 2022, Lake County declared the first Tree Mortality Emergency underscoring a situation that is having a profound affect on the communities in the Konocti Fire Safe Council service area. This area faces a double threat. Dead trees in the forests above communities such as Riviera Heights and Riviera West are a tinder box that is only one lightening strike away from ignition. A second threat runs along the Soda Bay Road where dead and dying trees could make it impossible for residents to get out of the area and for firefighters and equipment to get in.
The Konocti Fire Safe Council is working with the county government to implement a $380,000.00 grant for improving conditions along the corridor. But, that is only a drop in the bucket in terms of what is needed.