Ojai Valley News photo by Perry Van Houten
This is what The Pines Camp looked like before the damage began.
Perry Van Houten, Ojai Valley News correspondent
A popular trail camp in the Ojai front country is closed due to safety concerns. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has shuttered The Pines Camp while it launches an aggressive effort to rid the camp of hazards caused by the drought and a bark beetle infestation. Those hazards include falling trees and limbs along with fire danger.
The grove of 60- to 70-year-old Coulter pines began showing signs of stress in 2014.
Scientists say drought affects a tree’s immune system and its ability to fend off invasive bark beetles, which weaken the tree.