Fire is part of natural landscapes around the world. It plays a role in ecosystems by clearing old vegetation, releasing soil nutrients, and making way for new growth. Increasingly, human activity is changing the frequency, intensity and patterns of fire around the world. This video shows global satellite observations of fires in 2002 and 2003 before zooming into southern California where expanding residential development has led to a dramatic increase in the frequency and intensity of fires in recent years.
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