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Landscape of wounds

11 Jun 2014
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The fires that swept through the Las Conchas region in New Mexico in June 2011 intensified at four times the rate of any previously known outbreak, consuming almost an acre of forest each second, incinerating even the mother trees and, along with them, any prospect of cyclic regeneration. Specialists in fire and forestry were left confounded by the scale of the impact, and also by its implications. These fires seemed to have defied the laws of physics. They burned uphill, against the wind, feeding not only on debris and groundcover but also, apparently, on the earth itself, leaving the crust baked hard to deep below the surface. Something went on in the fire column that no one can understand…

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Photo: Moira Fahy

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Published year only: 
2014
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