California burns, and always has. For millennia Indigenous people used fire to tend and protect the land. But years of the government outlawing those practices
and suppressing wildfires has led California to having a serious problem — one where fire is no longer a working partner, but an uncontrollable force that too often has devastating outcomes.
In recent years, Butte County has seen the consequences of the state’s fire drought
through the deaths of more than 100 people, the loss of thousands of homes, detrimental effects to the environment and hazardous air quality.
Fire Returned is a series about some of the people working to restore Butte County by bringing intentional fire back to it.This series has been supported by theSolutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.