Why Controlled Burns Could Save Forests, And Lives

Wildfires in British Columbia and California have blanketed the northwest U.S. in smoke, creating some of the most unhealthy air quality in the country.
A back burn set by fire fighters. Fire fighters set small scale fires as a form of forest management.
HOR_WildFire_01_160561728 Source: Elizabeth Barnes/South Sky Photography/Getty

When Nathan Turner moved to Utah a few years ago from Pennsylvania, he imagined taking regular walks with his wife and two young sons under a clear, western sky. Then came the smoke. The air quality in Salt Lake City for the last few summers has been abysmal. In July, his ­2-year-old son developed a cough so severe that Turner thought it was whooping cough. Now,

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