Forests: the fire next time

Guardian: Forest fires are a fact of life, and in some regions an important part of the natural ecosystem, but that does not make them welcome. Wildfire sears an astonishing 350 to 400 million hectares each year: this is an area of land greater than the surface of India. The economic costs of bushfires are prodigious – one sustained blaze in Texas in 2011 did damage estimated at $5bn – but the human costs, too, are cruel. A team led by Tasmanian and Canadian scientists has just made a careful estimate of the......

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