a sign for a prescribed burn in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, Calif., remains posted two years after the fire. The prescribed burn, a low-intensity, closely managed fire, was intended to clear out undergrowth and protect the heart of Kings Canyon National Park from a future threatening wildfire. The tactic is considered one of the best ways to prevent the kind of catastrophic destruction that has become common, but its use falls woefully short of goals in the West. CREDIT: BRIAN MELLEY/AP

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