Beetles create risk of falling trees at 2 Alaska campgrounds

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska park officials are closing two state campgrounds because of the threat of falling trees brought on by insects and aggravated by a warming climate.

Campgrounds south of Denali National Park will be closed after spruce bark beetles ate through trees, killing them.

State parks director Ricky Gease (gees) says rotten trees have fallen in campgrounds at Denali State Park and the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area.

University of Alaska Fairbanks forestry ecology professor emeritus Glenn Juday (joo-DAY) says warmer winters and summers are part of the combination of factors that allow beetles to escape ordinary controls such as death by cold.

The state plans to remove rotten trees but during cold weather to avoid dispersing spruce bark beetles. That means campground closures likely will last through summer.

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