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California encourages prescribed burns to counter wildfires

Gov. Newsom signed into law Wednesday adds legal protections for those who manage the blazes by raising the legal standard for seeking wildfire suppression costs.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is encouraging more use of fire to fight fire, such as when deliberately set burns were recently used to protect giant sequoias from a raging wildfire.

 But sometimes what is known as prescribed fires themselves spread out of control, causing their own extensive damage.

 A bill that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Wednesday adds legal protections for private landowners and those who manage the blazes by raising the legal standard for seeking wildfire suppression costs from simple negligence to gross negligence. 

Opponents said the liability change leaves wildfire victims with a more difficult and less efficient cost recovery process.

For the full AP story, click here.  

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