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Drought, Development, Land Use Fuel Texas' Wildfire Problems

Larger, more threatening wildfires are occurring at greater rates as Texas faces lingering drought, consistent development — driven by millions of new residents and the spread of outlying suburbs — and changes in how the state's land is used. Texas had 157,000 wildfires over a nine-year period ending in 2014, said Mark Stanford, fire chief of the Texas A&M Forest Service. Nearly 80 percent of those fires burned within two miles of a community, he said. "When I started,...

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