ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — State forestry officials say Georgia’s ongoing drought is hurting Georgia’s timber industry by putting pine trees at risk.

Rangers with the Georgia Forestry Commission tell WALB-TV that the drought is making pine trees more susceptible to disease and insects.

Pine beetles feed on trees that are left in bad shape as result of dry weather. The insects can penetrate the bark and kill the tree.

Officials say Timber in Georgia is valued at more than $500 million a year.

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