Here’s how Native Americans used controlled burns to maintain forests and why it’s needed now more than ever.
SALINAS, Calif. – The Carmel Fire rolled up to the vineyards Jack Galante owned up until a month ago.
It burned the edges, sent enough smoke in the air to potentially taint the grapes, then backed off and kept moving, eventually destroying 73 structures and damaging seven, many were million-dollar Sky Ranch homes.
This all happened about five years after Galante and Cal Fire put to bed a request to do a prescribed burn in that area, which could have mitigated the intensity of the blaze. Galante said he didn’t know why it died, but believed it had something to do with Cal Fire’s bureaucracy.
A Cal Fire representative, though, said the residents of Sky Ranch shot the proposal down. Residents didn’t want a controlled fire near their homes.
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