A record-breaking season of fire across the West has shown the limits of the century-old strategy of suppression. Many agree the need now is for better land management – built around values of collaboration and shared responsibility.
On a cool February morning, around 60 people gathered in the Sierra Nevada foothills to take part in a ceremony that, for many decades, was banned.
Men and women from Native American tribes in Northern California stood in a circle, alongside university students and locals from around the town of Mariposa. Several wore bright yellow shirts made of flame-resistant fabric. For the next two days, the group would be carefully lighting fires in the surrounding hills.