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Study: Huge increase in use of prescribed fire needed in California

There are roughly 20 million acres of forest in California—nearly one-fifth of the state’s land—where controlled burns and other measures to thin out vegetation, could help reduce the risk of massive wildfires, according to a new academic study.

The paper, published this week in Nature Sustainability, looks at some of the reasons why “prescribed burns” aren’t taking place on a wider scale in the state. The research involved an analysis of state legislation, prescribed burn records, and transcripts of interviews with 45 people who are familiar with wildfire policy issues in California.

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