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Fighting more forest fires will come back to burn us

A year ago, as Colorado was in the midst of the one of the worst wildfire seasons in the state’s history (something that looks to be matched or even surpassed this year), I climbed the mountains above my home in Boulder. There was a brief reprieve between blazes, and I was hoping to find blue sky, but the air was still filled with enough smoke to make me cough. More than 600 miles from the peak where I stood, the Whitewater Baldy Fire in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico -- the largest fire in that state’s history -- was blanketing my home with a thick haze.

It was hard to see hope in the smoke, but it was there when I looked for it.

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