Feds: Warming means more fires, insects in forests

Rain dampening wildfire forecast in Montana

The U.S. Department of Agriculture warns that big changes are in store for the nation’s forests as global warming increases wildfires and insect infestations, and generates more frequent floods and droughts.

The report released Tuesday is part of the National Climate Assessment and will serve as a roadmap for managing national forests across the country in coming years.

It says wildfires are expected to at least double the area burned over the next 25 years, and insect infestations will cover even more ground.

Dave Cleaves, climate adviser to the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, says climate change has become the primary driver for managing national forests, because it poses a major threat to their ability to store carbon and provide clean water and wildlife habitat.