The Pine Beetle epidemic continues to spread, now worried residents in Sturgis are getting educated on what to do, and where to seek help before the infestation reaches them.
The Pine Beetle infestation in the Black Hills is spreading at an alarming rate.
The Sturgis Forest Advisory Committee held a meeting Wednesday night to inform Sturgis residents on how to tell if trees are infested and what to do to protect other trees.
Brian Garbisch says people should expect the infestation to continue spreading outward from the Central Hills.
He says he hopes that by educating the people in Sturgis before the problem begins, they can take the right action to prevent an epidemic in that area.
And there are currently cost sharing programs available to those who live in high priority areas.
"The cost sharing program will help offset the cost of taking care of those infested trees having that wood filled and then hauled away to the sawmill," says Garbisch.
A program that may prove beneficial to residents as the Pine Beetle moves to Sturgis.
"I hope they're alerted to the fact that the Mountain Pine Beetle is moving in our direction," says Dean Rasmuson, Chairman of the Forest Advisory Committee.
Garbisch says if the Pine Beetle epidemic here follows trends elsewhere across the United States, we should start to see a decline in 5 to 7 years.