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Because of the severity of the fires in the summer of 2000 and because of the growing debate over what to do about expected future fires, the Andrus Center convened The Fires Next Time conference on December 7, 2000. The conference had several goals in mind. First, it sought to establish a set of sideboards for the discussion of fire by inviting experts to talk about the history, science, and policy of fire management. The purpose was to articulate what we knew, did not know, and should know about fire in the western United States.

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