Planned burns in Arizona, West vital to restoring forests

By Tom Beal | Arizona Daily Star

That smoke you saw rising from Mount Bigelow in the Santa Catalina Mountains northeast of Tucson Monday should be a more regular sight, say fire historians and forest ecologists.

Two recent studies place different emphasis on the primary causes of fire in the mountains of the West, but the researchers who wrote them agree that restoring forests to a healthy state requires more attention to thinning them out and burning when circumstances permit.

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