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Are wildfire fights in California targeting the wrong culprit?

Fire rages on a hillside south of Banning, California, on August 8, 2013 where up to a thousand firefighters are battling the blaze east of Los Angeles that has injured five people and forced 1,800 to flee their homes, authorities said.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
On a hillside south of Banning, California, up to a thousand firefighters battled the blaze on August 8, 2013.

This month’s Silver Fire in Riverside County devastated communities in Riverside County - destroying nearly 50 buildings, including homes, and injuring almost a dozen firefighters.

Are wildfire fights in California targeting the wrong culprit? This month’s Silver Fire devastated communities in Riverside County - destroying nearly 50 buildings, including homes, and injuring almost a dozen firefighters. The fire also seems to be challenging conventional wisdom about where wildfires start and what causes them to spread.

Cal Fire is focusing on clearing old vegetation, but the Silver Fire burned new growth. Should that alter California’s plans to fight wildfires?

Guest:
Richard Halsey,  Director, The California Chaparral Institute - an organization dedicated to the preservation of native shrubland habitats, based in Escondido

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