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Decades of Mismanagement Led to Choked Forests — Now It's Time to Clear Them Out, Fire Experts Say



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The Western United States is enduring yet another devastating fire year, with more than 4.1 million acres already scorched in California alone, at least 31 people dead and hundreds of others forced to flee their homes.
Wildland fires are increasingly following a now-familiar pattern: bigger, hotter and more destructive. A recent Los Angeles Times headline declaring 2020 to be “The worst fire season. Again” illustrated some of the frustration residents feel over the state’s fire strategy.
For decades, federal, state and local agencies have prioritized fire suppression over prevention, pouring billions of dollars into hiring and training firefighters, buying and maintaining firefighting equipment and educating the public on fire safety.
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