The smoke billowing from the Flagstaff Ranger District near the Fort Valley Trailhead is from a prescribed burn at the experimental forest on …
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In 1987, a fire at London King's Cross railway station claimed 31 lives.
One year ago, tens of thousands of people fled a fast-moving wildfire in Northern California.
As a historian of fire, I know that no single factor drives it. Flames synthesize their surroundings. Fire is a driverless car that barrels down the road integrating whatever is around it.
Widen the aperture a bit, and we can envision Earth entering a fire age comparable to the ice ages of the Pleistocene, complete with the pyric equivalent of ice sheets, pluvial lakes, periglacial outwash plains, mass extinctions, and sea level changes. It’s an epoch in which fire is both prime mover and principal expression.