For Native American tribes, ‘good fire’ is key to mending nature and people

  • Climate
  • Friday, 26 Nov 2021

Elizabeth Azzuz stands in prayer with a handmade torch of dried wormwood branches before leading a cultural training burn on the Yurok reservation in Weitchpec, California, recently. Photo: AP

Elizabeth Azzuz stood in prayer on a Northern California mountainside, grasping a torch of wormwood branches, the fuel her Native American ancestors used to burn underbrush in thick forests.

“Guide our hands as we bring fire back to the land,” she intoned before igniting leaves and needles carpeting the slope above the Klamath River.

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