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Fire remains vital management tool

Every spring, the ritual continues. Viewed up close or at a distance, prairie fires are riveting. Across the vast, open grasslands we call the Flint Hills, fires can be seen for miles. The flames lick at the blue Kansas sky as the brown, dry grass crinkles, cracks and bursts into orange.
But these fires aren’t recent phenomena and they aren’t strictly for the viewing pleasure of highway travelers. Long before civilization invaded the prairie, lightning storms ignited fires and the prairie was charred restoring the health of the native grasses.  
Native Americans were the first practitioners of prescribed ...

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