California may need more fire to fix its wildfire problem

WASHINGTON — California is supposed to burn.Before settlers populated the region in the 1800s, about 5 to 12% of the land that now makes up the Golden State caught fire each year — more than has burned so far in 2020, the most destructive year in modern history. Some of the historic fires were caused by lightning and others were set by Native Americans as a land-management tool, but they mostly burned with low intensity and touched much of the state with great regularity.But after more than a century of aggressive fire suppression, California’s vegetation has grown much denser than the fire-ad…

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