To Protect Giant Sequoias, They Lit a Fire

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By Jim Robbins and Photographs by Eros Hoagland, The New York Times

After songs, prayers and pronouncements, several dozen members of the Tule River, North Fork Mono and Tübatulabal Tribes and others kindled branches into crackling fires. Thick clouds of blue smoke billowed through the canopy of the giant sequoia forest. A plate of food from a barbecue was offered to the flames.

The carefully monitored fire at the Alder Creek Grove in California was aimed at clearing the forest of growth in the understory and, among other things, at helping to prevent out-of-control wildfires.

And it also was only the second “cultural burn” held by these tribes outside their reservations in more than a century.

Read more at The New York Times.

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